Hi Uncommon Design readers, it is Audra again from Cherished Bliss. Today I am excited to share a wonderful, new recipe for a Tomato, Spinach, & Bacon Pearl Couscous Salad w/ a Creamy Cucumber Dressing. I don’t know about you, but I am ready to start my garden and taste all the wonderful, fresh vegetables I plant each year. And this salad reminds me that it won’t be much longer and the promise of spring is right around the corner. A must have in my garden each year is tomatoes and cucumbers, so when creating this salad I knew those veggies were a must. This salad has been in mind for quite some time and I think you will be happy with the results. I know you are ready for the recipe, so let’s get cooking!
Let’s start with the dressing. You will need 1 cup of diced cucumbers (with the skin left on), 1 TBPS of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, 2 TBSP golden balsamic vinegar, and 2 oz cream cheese. I will be honest, after making this dressing I could not stop dipping the extra cucumber slices I had! I will definitely be making this dressing again and not only for this salad!
Now we are moving forward to the salad. I used Rice Select’s tri-color pearl couscous. If you have never tried pearl couscous they are little, delicate pasta balls and they are quite delicious. Together with the pearl couscous I added red cherry tomatoes, golden sun burst tomatoes, and fresh baby spinach. I chose not to chop my spinach, but if you want to please do! I think I will be chopping mine next time I make this salad.
Once you have prepared all your ingredients it is time to put everything together. Notice the secret ingredient (crispy turkey bacon) ? The turkey bacon really puts this salad in perspective. Of course you don’t have to use turkey, I am just trying to keep it healthy. Although, I don’t really know how healthy it was to almost eat the entire bowl…oops!
When all the beauty is combined, transfer to a nice serving dish and garnish with additional chopped parsley and bacon. I recommend stirring in the dressing just before serving. This salad is best served at room temperature.
Tomato, Spinach, & Bacon Pearl Couscous Salad
w/ a Creamy Cucumber Dressing
For the dressing:
1 cup diced cucumbers
1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 TBSP golden balsamic vinegar
2 oz cream cheese
For the salad :
2 cups tri-color pearl couscous
3 cups of vegetable broth
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 TBS butter
1 handful baby spinach
1/2 cup red and yellow tomatoes, quartered
3 slices crispy turkey bacon (I use Applegate), chopped in fine pieces
1 TBSP fresh parsley, finely chopped
For the dressing:
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until all ingredients are combined well.
For the Salad:
Cook the couscous according to the package. I cooked mine in:
3 cups of vegetable broth, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and 1 TBS butter.
Once the the couscous is done, pour in a fine mesh strainer, and give it a good rinse to remove all the starch.
Note: if you do not rinse the couscous it will be sticky
Shake all the excess water and place couscous in a large mixing bowl.
Now add baby spinach, tomatoes, bacon, and parsley.
Stir dressing in just before serving.
Garnish with additional turkey bacon bits and fresh chopped parsley.
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