Herb and Olive Couscous Salad

This is one of my favourite salads to enjoy in the summertime.  I've been making it for years and it's always asked for at family events.  It's perfect for this time of year, when the weather is scorching here in the Southern Hemisphere.  I find it's particularly suited for Christmas lunch as it's such a festive salad.  With hints of red and green, and a liberal sprinkling of pomegranate seeds, it's enough to put you in the Christmas spirit!  It's a vibrant, light and refreshing salad with plenty of flavour.  Serve it alongside seafood, ham, or a roast turkey this Christmas lunch.

1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
2 cups couscous
6 green shallots, finely sliced
2 punnets cherry tomatoes, halved (I like to use a combination of yellow and red)
1/2 cup whole pitted balsamic Kalamata olives, halved
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 cup coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
Seeds from half a pomegranate

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes

Fill the kettle and pop it on to boil.

In a large bowl, add the dried couscous, 2 teaspoons of sea salt flakes, and a good drizzle of olive oil and mix well with a fork until the couscous is coated in the oil.  Add the boiled water and quickly mix well into the couscous with a fork, cover the bowl with a plate and set aside to allow the couscous to absorb the water.

Meanwhile make the salad dressing.  I like to use a jar as it's perfect to shake-up all the ingredients and can be stored securely until you're ready to dress the salad.  Simply combine all the ingredients for the dressing and set aside.

In a large salad bowl add the finely sliced green shallots, halved cherry tomatoes, halved Kalamata olives, chopped fresh mint and Italian flat leaf parsley, and pomegranate seeds.  Mix well to combine.

Using a fork or balloon whisk, fluff the couscous until all the grains are separated.  It should resemble light crumbs.

Add the couscous to the salad ingredients in stages, and toss the ingredients together each time to ensure they are well combined.

Add the dressing to the salad just before serving, and make sure to toss it well once again.

This salad will keep well in the fridge for at least a couple of days, making it the perfect leftover to enjoy with all your Christmas cold cuts.


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