Couscous Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Bell Peppers
- 2 cups water
- 1⁄4 cup plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cups instant couscous
- 1 1⁄2 roasted red bell peppers, peeled, seeded
and coarsely chopped (see related tip at left)
- 1 1⁄2 cups mixed red and yellow cherry
tomatoes, stemmed and halved lengthwise
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus whole sprigs
- 1⁄4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
- 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl. Using a fork, fluff the couscous grains to separate them. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes, chopped mint, orange juice, orange zest, the 1/4 cup olive oil, the vinegar and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix gently but well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
Garnish with the mint sprigs and serve the salad chilled or at room temperature. Serves 8.
Make-Ahead Tip: Because this salad is best when the flavors have been allowed to blend for several hours, it is a good choice for making in the morning and taking along to a leisurely picnic. It can be carried easily in a covered bowl.