Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Southwest Couscous Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette

Here is it, already the 16th of August, and summer is almost over. School will be starting in the next few weeks, and the dog days of summer will soon turn to the crispy days of fall. It's about this time of year when people start to realize summer will soon be closing its doors for the year, and hustle to have those last minute picnics and get-togethers.

Vegetarian Times had a lovely little couscous salad in the latest issue that inspired me to make this. While the main ingredients are basically the same, I completely re-made the dressing into this tangy little chipolte lime vinaigrette. And not only is this couscous salad tasty, but it's also pretty nutrionally sound, with olive oil being its only added fat. It's also got a lovely look to it, and I promise it will be a hit at whatever meal you serve it.

SW Couscous Salad

Southwest Couscous Salad with Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
1 1/2 c water
1/2 tsp salt
1 c uncooked couscous
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 c red onion
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 c fresh cilantro, minced

Chipolte Lime Vinaigrette
4 1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 1/2 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp adobo sauce (from canned chipotle chilies)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp toasted cumin seed, crushed
3/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp sugar

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes, until all moisture is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cool. Add beans, jalapeno, red onion, and tomato. In food processor, combine all vinaigrette ingredients. Process until well combined. Add to mixing bowl, and stir well. Stir in fresh cilantro. Serve and enjoy!


Special Sauce said...

And I was the lucky recipient of a big tasty bowl of this salad. It is so good I just about cried. There's a nice smoky heat in the dressing, the salad itself is light and would be a welcome change to the heavier mayo based salads. I'd recommend this as a tasty side to a salmon burger, or your favorite burger alternative. Yum!

Anonymous said...

yeah! i'm so glad you posted this, as i will have to try it ASAP! i just got some cilantro yesterday to make your jalapeno cilantro hummus :) i also made a batch of tabouli yesterday, and have been craving more lighter fare grain salads. thank you!

Auntie X said...

Mmmmmm... cilantro and black beans, I'm not sure if there's a more perfect combination. I'll definitely have to try it.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess so. That looks terrific and I really like the sound of the dressing. Excellent.

kickpleat said...

i love couscous and this looks like an ideal summer salad. yum!

Anonymous said...

This looks delicious. I do in fact have a late summer bbq to attend at the end of the month, and I think I might make this to bring along!

(Hi, I followed you over here from the comments at Domestic Affair. Pleased to meet you.)

Anonymous said...

Is there nutritional information available.. thnx!

Mindy T. said...

Looks like you love the southwest thing as much as I do! I've been going mostly Asian and Mediterranean lately, but you've got me inspired to pull out the chile powder and lime!

Eye-popping photo, as usual..