Spanishy Couscous Salad Recipe
Couscous can be bland without the help of some big flavor boosters. Here, a quick dressing of piquillo or pimento peppers is blended up with a little vinegar and smoked paprika. Toss in some salted almonds and briny olives and you have a zingy picnic side dish to go with grilled steak and some sangría.
For the dressing:
- 3/4 cup jarred, roasted, and peeled piquillo or pimento peppers (about 8 ounces), drained
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 medium garlic clove, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch granulated sugar
For the salad:
- 3 cups dry couscous
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup roasted, salted whole almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup coarsely chopped green Spanish olives
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling (optional)
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth; set aside.
For the salad:
- Place the couscous in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish; set aside. Place the water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Pour the water over the couscous and stir once to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let stand until the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Uncover and lightly graze a fork over the surface of the couscous layer by layer until no clumps remain. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the dressing, almonds, olives, onion, parsley, and salt and fold everything in with a rubber spatula to combine. Taste and season with pepper as needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Drizzle with olive oil just before serving, if desired.