Monday, October 6, 2014

Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad

  Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
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2 cups Israeli couscous (10 to 12 ounces)
2 (7-ounce) cans or jars Italian tuna, drained and flaked
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, medium-diced (4 ounces)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped scallions (6-8 scallions)
1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is just tender. (I pull the pot halfway off the heat.) Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, combine the tuna, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, olives, red peppers, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the hot couscous into the mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, basil, juice of the 1/2 lemon, and 1 more teaspoon of salt. Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature. 

4:00 am, can't sleep, watching the Food Network channel.  I watched The Barefoot Contessa make this salad, and it made my mouth water.

1. I could not find couscous in my grocery store!  So I substituted Organic Tri-Color Quinoa from Trader Joe's.  Cooking time is similar to the couscous, and it resembles it too, small & round...
Quinoa was a great substitute.

2. I used regular old canned Albacore tuna.  The tuna Ina uses is $9.00 a jar! GULP! I also did not have fresh basil, so I used 1/2 teaspoon dried.
3. This was easy to make, and it tasted great.  So lemony, and salty, not too salty.  The capers, olives, peppers, tuna, were a great combo!

My finished salad!  I think it's very pretty, almost as much as Ina's!

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