I love pearl couscous. I absolutely adore the texture of it and how versatile it is in the recipes. It has more body than the regular couscous and looks beautiful on the plate. This Fresh Baby Spring Greens Couscous Pecans Salad recipe is super easy to put together and suitable for any day of the week. However, I think it also makes a wonderful dinner for entertaining and a healthy way to feed your guests.
The recipe consists of a mixture of Fresh Baby Spring Greens, cilantro( that brings lots of flavor to the combination), couscous and dried cranberries. Everything is tossed in a simple vinaigrette and finished with Feta cheese(or fresh goat cheese) and toasted pecans. The salad is served with grilled salmon that really complements the recipe to perfection.
For entertainment, serve it on dark dinner plates for a more elegant look. Your guests will be very impressed! Besides the fact that everything looks so good, it is also very, very delicious. The recipe has plenty of room for improvisation—use baby spinach or butter lettuce instead of or in addition to the mixed greens, toasted walnuts instead of pecans. Use more or less of any ingredient to taste.
If I would not have some common sense, I would probably eat tons of it with no regrets. I just love it!
What is not to love about this salad? Slightly peppery tasting greens, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, beautiful couscous and the freshness of the cilantro combined with the saltiness of the feta cheese or the creaminess of the goat cheese make this salad divine and perfect.
Note: If you make the salad in advance for a party, do not add the dressing until you are ready to serve. The recipe makes more dressing than is required for the salad.
If you love fresh salads, here you have a link to my collection of salads where you can find recipes from all over the world. Enjoy!
- Toasted pecans:
- 4 ounces whole pecans
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 4 cups fresh baby spring greens
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 bunch chopped cilantro
- ½ medium red onion sliced thinly
- ¼ cup crumbled Feta(or crumbled soft goat cheese)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pearl Couscous:
- ⅔ cups uncooked Pearl couscous
- 3 cups water
- Serve with 4 pieces of salmon(aprox.3 oz each) grilled
- Toast the pecans:
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Put the pecans in a bowl, sprinkle the melted butter over them, and toss until they are all well coated.
- Sprinkle the pecans with sugar and gently toss again until they are lightly coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the coated pecans out in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pecans sit until cool enough to touch.
- Make the dressing:
- Place the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small jar. Cover and shake until the dressing is well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Make the salad:
- Place the salad greens in a large bowl.
- Add chopped fresh basil, cilantro and sliced onion.
- Cook ¾ cups of Pearl couscous according to the box. It is usually ⅔ cup couscous boiled in 3 cups of salted water, for 15-17 minutes or until the couscous is soft.
- Drain the couscous and let it cool for few minutes.
- Add it to the salad.
- Add the dried cranberries, and pecans.
- Pour ¼ cup vinaigrette over the salad and mix gently to coat the ingredients.
- Finish the salad with crumbled Feta cheese or crumbled goat soft cheese.
- Serve with grilled salmon.
- Refrigerate the rest of the vinaigrette for later use.