adrienne: balsamic tomato basil mozzarella salad with couscous

4 Jun

Last night Dr. A (we’ll call my fiancée that now) introduced me to probably one of the most satisfying, yet lightest meals I’ve had in months. This Balsamic Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad with Couscous was lightly sweet and salty all at once, with an intriguing mix of textures and flavors.

It’s also a trifecta of greatness: quick and easy to prepare, healthy, and tastes great. It’s so good for you, you can even splurge on a glass of wine. I don’t really like wine, but Dr. A does, so I’m trying to like it. Anybody with me on that? I feel so unrefined, not liking wine. Then again, I’m the girl who got drunk off a can of Margaritaville Fruit Punch on Saturday night.

That says it all, doesn’t it?

Balsamic Tomato Basil Mozzarella Salad with Couscous
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 large servings, four sides
Calories: 400-500, depending on the prep/serving size

1 cup dry couscous
1-1/4 cup water
1 tbsp butter or margarine

Two large tomatoes
Sixteen leaves (or a large stem) of fresh basil
- Dr. A says: “…the more basil the better!”
4 oz. bocconcini (pearl mozzarella)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Prepare couscous according to package directions. Or, generally: boil your water. When boiling, add couscous and butter, turn off the heat and cover. Let stand for five minutes and then fluff with a fork. Pro tip: you can also make couscous with chicken broth, vegetable broth, or by adding herb seasoning to the water.

Dice the tomatoes into ½” pieces and place in large serving bowl. Chop (or tear) basil into small pieces and add to tomatoes. Add olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Mix. Add salt and pepper to taste (for us, it was about ⅛ tsp of sea salt and ½ tsp of pepper). Add bocconcini and mix.

Serve tomato basil salad atop the couscous.

Do not serve with Margaritaville Fruit Punch.

16 Responses to “adrienne: balsamic tomato basil mozzarella salad with couscous”

  1. Dasha June 4, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    OMG. I would do just about ANYTHING to have that magically appear for my lunch.

    • icedteainthebag June 4, 2012 at 9:49 am #

      ME TOO. But it was so good we didn’t even have leftovers.

  2. beckeyl June 4, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    Looks delicious! You should get some basil plants for your garden. People used to tell me to keep drinking beer and eventually I’d like it…still hasn’t happened, but I think that for wine it actually might be true.

    • icedteainthebag June 4, 2012 at 10:58 am #

      Dr. A has thought about basil plants, with the amount of basil we go through. We were lucky to find some at the farmers market Saturday. But we both kill most plants we touch so the idea of gardening is worrysome.

      I hope it’s true for wine. I can handle beer sometimes. I don’t really *like* it, but I can drink it.

  3. Dasha June 4, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

    Just about the wine thing, I used to hate it, too. Then a wine bar opened in the neighborhood and I realized I’d been drinking crappy wine.

    If you ever want to give it a try, start with the “easier” wines.

    For whites, you want something crisp and lighter-bodied like a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. If you like something a bit sweet, try a Riesling.

    For reds, you want to try wines that are less tannic. In other words, wines that don’t have that “pucker” factor, like a young Merlot, Pinot Noir or Shiraz/Syrah. Something fruitier.

    See if you like a sparkling wine. Doesn’t have to be fancy to be good. Spanish sparklings (called Cava) and Italians (called Prosecco) are good. Sparkling wine is especially good with seafood but really, it goes with everything!

    • icedteainthebag June 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Good advice and thank you! If I had to pick any wine to drink, I would pick Rieslings. I’ve liked those before. I think I’ve also had prosecco, which is good, compared to other wines I’ve had. Dessert wines I can handle more but I feel like I’m cheating. Like a kid getting drunk off Boones Farm. :D

      • Dasha June 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

        LOL. I hate most dessert wines for some reason. Too much like cough syrup? I think the biggest tip in learning to like wine is letting go of the expectation that it’s supposed to be sweet.

    • Dr. A June 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      I had her drinking a Merlot last night. And we had Pinot Grigio the other night. I tend to like the lighter, easier wines myself.

      • Dasha June 4, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

        Have Adrienne try a Shiraz from Australia, good doctor. Very light and fruity but still has body.

  4. Lynnie June 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Love that recipe and will try it soon. Does it really have that much garlic? Get with it and like wine. Then you can join a wine group and get sassy, blitzed and silly while blind testing wines. Sooo much fun! One night we snobs unkowingly voted Meanage Trois the best of the batch. It’s a good thing snobs can still have a sense of humor!

    • icedteainthebag June 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      The more garlic the better! But to be honest, I’m a “throw it in, don’t measure it” cook. Eyeballing it, it looked like about that much garlic to me. Garlic to taste, I say!

      I love the idea of a wine group, but the reality is I get buzzed off 1/4 glass. A wine tasting would have me on the floor. Or maybe I just need to build up my tolerance.

      Only the best snobs have a sense of humor :D

      • Dasha June 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

        Sadly, my dad has the same garlic issues I do, so garlic always has to be toned down. :(

        • icedteainthebag June 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

          Aw. :( OK, then, scratch what I said about more garlic. Make it without! It’s going to be good without it.

  5. Dr. A June 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    Add the butter before the cous cous. Ok, that’s my helpful hint. That and more basil. And wine!

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