watermelon arugula israeli couscous salad

01Aug13

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I have recently encountered several savory dishes featuring watermelon, which inspired this dish. The salad balances textures (the soft chewiness of israeli couscous, the crunchy bite of watermelon and the creamy feel of cheese) and flavors (the toastyness of the couscous, the sweetness of watermelon and the saltiness of the cheese), plus the fresh and spicy flavor of basil and arugula). Carefully dicing the ingredients is key to making this dish!

Watermelon Arugula Israeli Couscous Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, prepared and cooled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus one tablespoon
  • 2 cups watermelon, rind removed, seeded and cubed (macedoine dice)
  • 3/4 cup ricotta salatacubed (macedoine dice)
  • 1 medium shallot, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup basil, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup arugula, washed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir until the couscous begins to color and smell toasty, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Drain if any liquid remains in the pan.
  2. Spread couscous evenly on a baking sheet, drizzled 1/8 cup olive oil on top and stir.
  3. Cover in plastic wrap or a damp towel and let cool in the refrigerator.
  4. Prepare watermelon, cheese, shallot, basil and arugula.
  5. Toss produce and cheese in a large bowl with couscous.
  6. In a separate bowl, mix vinegar, salt and the remaining olive oil.
  7. Pour over salad and toss to thoroughly coat.
  8. Enjoy!
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