As some of you know, when I'm grilling in summer, it's not at all unusual for me to toss some extra veggies on the grill while I've got it fired up. They go on to become excellent ingredients in other dishes and, today, I'm sharing one of my favorites that can be made in under a half hour if you've planned ahead while grilling - or have other cooked veggies on hand.
In addition to the aforementioned grilled veggies, this salad relies on some excellent convenience foods. High end canned tuna - yellowfin in olive oil - gets used both as flaked fish in the salad mix as well as the olive oil in the salad dressing. Find the very best you can manage for this - it really shines. Beyond that, toasted Israeli couscous - sometimes labeled pearl couscous - and sun-dried tomatoes (ideally in oil) fill in the other roles this salad seeks. One excellent thing about this particular salad is that it is one of those dishes that is at least as good the second day, if not better, than it was on the day you made it. I like to make a big batch so I can have it for lunch the next day.
As a side, I recommend pairing this with a clever sandwich, wrap, or burger. As a main course, feel free to have a piece of garlic toast on hand to soak up any dressing left on your plate. I also tend to have a piece of fruit afterward - stone fruit is dreamy right about now!
- 2 cups dry toasted Israeli pearl couscous
- 2 - 4 oz. dry weight yellowfin tuna in extra virgin olive oil - drained with oil reserved
- 3 T. basil pesto
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 T. sliced green onions
- 1 cup chopped grilled vegetables - I used grilled zucchini and bell peppers
Cook the pearl couscous per the directions on the package. I like to use chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor.
While the couscous is cooking, drain the tuna well and mix the reserved oil from the tuna with the pesto and the juice of half of a lemon in a small bowl; set it aside.
When the couscous is ready, transfer it to a serving bowl and drizzle the lemony pesto over it. Toss it to evenly coat.
Add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes, onions, grilled vegetables, and tuna to the couscous. Drizzle the remaining lemon juice over it all and toss it again. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
- Yields: 6-8 servings
- Preparation Time: 25 minutes