In the summer I’d rather have company over than go out to a restaurant. It’s just so much more cozier, relaxing and if the weather cooperates, we could sit outside on the deck with some appetizers (and a glass of sangria!) Last weekend we had friends over for a barbecue that have never eaten at our house before. What to make…what to make?

I make quinoa and regular salads all the time and I wanted to try something new. This salad was so yummy and the touch of mint was really nice. I put the leftovers in the fridge and it was really good the next day too! Definitely a keeper and definitely will be serving it the next time I have company over!

I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever combined spinach and Israeli couscous together?
Please feel free to share your ideas and tips in the comments below:)

Israeli Couscous Summer Salad
Serves 8

Ingredients:
• 1 tbs. olive oil
• 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous
• 2 cups water
• Pinch of salt
• 1 container of grape tomatoes, halved
• 1 English cucumber, cut lengthwise and then in moon shaped slices
• 1/3 cup slivered almonds
• 2 cups baby spinach leaves, torn with your hands
• 2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped
• 1 handful of fresh mint, chopped
Dressing:
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar
• 1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
• Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
To make the couscous: Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. When warm, add the couscous, stir frequently until the couscous is golden, approx. 4- 5 minutes. Add the water with the salt an bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, stir and then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until the couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the burner; take off the cover, stir and let cool.

Whisk the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, smoked paprika and salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Mix together the tomatoes, English cucumber, almonds, and cooled couscous in a large bowl. Add the baby spinach, herbs and then toss well with the dressing. Can be made in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to use.

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