A few weeks ago I had an amazing lunch in Brookline, MA at Zaftigs. It was a couscous salad in a fresh vinaigrette with grilled chicken and mixed field greens. It was filling and refreshing but not heavy. I decided to try recreating it using the online menu description and my memory. What I came up with was not an identical salad, but it was equally delicious in its own way.
Couscous Salad with Chicken
This dish works well at any temperature – from right off the stove to just out of the refrigerator. When I had this at the restaurant they served it with a few slices of pita bread, which would be an easy addition. The following recipe serves 4.
- 2/3 cup Israeli couscous
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 teaspoon minced shallots
- 1/4 cup diced red onion (about 1/4 of a small onion)
- 2 medium chicken breasts
- 4 mint leaves, minced
- zest and juice of 1 orange
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 3 – 6 cups mixed field greens, rinsed and dried
In a small saucepan heat the couscous, shallots and 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat until toasted and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Slowly add in water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes until water has been absorbed. Add in red onion, stir and remove from heat – keep cover on the pan. Meanwhile grill or sauté the chicken breasts until cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side depending on thickness. Let the chicken cool and then cut or shred into bite-sized pieces. In a serving bowl combine the zest, juice, mint leaves and remaining olive oil- whisking to make the vinaigrette adding in salt and pepper to taste. To the bowl, add the: couscous, cranberries, pecans and diced chicken. Mix to coat ingredients with vinaigrette and let sit (at room temperature or in fridge) until ready to serve.
To serve, place 1-2 cups mixed greens on a plate or in a bowl and top with 1 cup of couscous salad.
Points Plus: 10