Monday, May 16, 2011

Trust Me on This One: Giada's Couscous Salad

Submitted by Linda
So you may have noticed that Michelle and I have both MIA since Easter. For kindergarten teachers, (and probably all teachers), everything is ramped up in May. End of year projects to finish, open house projects, assessments, report cards, kid gifts, volunteer gifts, performances - no wonder we're so tired.

We did do some crafting recently, in fact we both worked together to make volunteer gifts for a total of 130 cute post-it holders (photos to come later). We also made custom Mom's day cards (no photos!), and I made a banner for a friend's 4 year old "boutique birthday" (again no pictures!)

But in addition to all of my super busy teacher's life, my darling boys came home from college (with all of their couches, tables, video gaming equipment, stuff that belongs to their out-of-state-friends, and the veritable mountain of laundry). We've since settled in, but now I'm back to cooking full on meals for hungry boys. (Oh, empty nest, where art thou?)

Believe it or not, my Tommy has actually said to me, "Mom, will you make something off of the food network?" (As if my regular cooking isn't good!?!)

Well, here's one off the food network that we all love. I will admit it has some interesting tastes, but for me, it is the perfect mixture of savory flavors. Tommy and I watched Giada make this, and since we both love curry and cashews, we thought it would be good. We weren't sure about the roasted cauliflower, and were thinking to omit it. However, one of my rules of thumb is to always try a recipe as written, so that you know if it is genuinely good. Then the next time you can tweak it if you like.

So, we roasted our cauliflower in olive oil....and it was so good - we stood in the kitchen eating it straight off the cookie sheet! Here are the ingredients, ready to be mixed.
I like to make a batch of this up on the weekend, and take it in my lunch every day. The only change I make to the recipe is to make extra dressing.

Giada's Curried Couscous Salad (courtesy Food Network)


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt freshly ground black pepper


  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mild curry powder (recommended: Spice Islands)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (10-ounce box) couscous
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped, roasted and lightly salted cashews
  • 1 (4-inch) piece cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large lemon, zested

Dressing (my suggestion- double the recipe):

  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mild curry powder (Giada recommends: Spice Islands)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cauliflower: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet liberally with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower and olive oil together until coated. Put in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast until golden and tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Salad: In a medium saucepan bring the chicken broth, curry powder and salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and allow the couscous to absorb the liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Stir in the cooked cauliflower, cranberries, cashews, cucumber, parsley, and lemon zest. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil and curry powder until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Just before serving, add the dressing to the salad and toss well to coat.

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