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Couscous Salad with Roasted Strawberries and Lemon-Basil Dressing

Created by: Julia Mueller, The Roasted Root

One of the best parts about coming out of winter into springtime is all the spring produce – namely, fresh, vibrant, tangy, sweet berries. While I am all about a sweet fresh berry fruit salad, berry smoothies, berry muffins, baked oatmeal with berries, etc., etc., I can also get on board with a sweet and savory side dish.

Pearl couscous is one of my favorite side dishes to prepare for friends. Tossing in seasonal healthy ingredients to turn it into a salad-served-cold is one of my gathering go-tos. To prepare this roasted strawberry couscous salad, I simply cook dry couscous, roast raw strawberries and toss them in a bowl with slivered almonds, green onion and feta cheese. To add extra pizazz, I add a simple dressing with basil, lemon, and honey.

Roasting strawberries is easy. Simply add them to a casserole dish with some balsamic vinegar (if desired) and roast at 375° F for 15-20 minutes. What results is a flavor-infused fruit that can be added to all sorts of sweet or savory dishes.

All flavors and ingredients considered, this couscous salad is a healthy flavor-packed side dish that doesn't require much effort or prep time to make. If you need to prepare the recipe in parts, you can make several portions ahead of time. For instance, you can cook the couscous and/or roast the strawberries ahead of time, as well as preparing the dressing in advance. When ready to serve, simply toss it all together!

20 minutes | Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 4
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup RiceSelect Pearl Couscous
  • 1½ cups fresh strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp. Kroger Balsamic Vinegar
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ⅓ cup Kroger Slivered Almonds
  • ⅓ cup Private Selection™ Feta Cheese

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Lemon-Basil Dressing:
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 4-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt, to taste
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Wash the strawberries, pat them dry and chop them into quarters. Add strawberries and balsamic vinegar to a small casserole dish and stir. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until juice is seeping out and the strawberries are soft, yet still have shape. While strawberries are roasting, prepare the couscous.
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  3. Add 1½ cups of water to a saucepan and bring to a full boil. Add the uncooked couscous and a sprinkle of salt. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir and set aside until ready to use.
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  4. Add all of the ingredients for the dressing to a small blender and blend until completely smooth. 
  5. Add the cooked couscous, roasted strawberries, slivered almonds, green onion and feta cheese to a serving dish. Toss in the dressing and serve.

View Party Plan: Springtime Celebration

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