Tex-Mex Couscous Salad
Mi carino loves couscous. Every few months he requests that I make couscous for dinner, so I make sure to keep a plentiful stash hidden away in my pantry. He first tried couscous while he was deployed. He, his fellow soldiers and translator enjoyed a colorful plate of couscous, lamb kebobs and pickled okra during one of their routine stops. He was instantly drawn to the flavor, texture of this tiny grain. He said it reminded him of our rice dishes from home, all that was missing was a brothy ladle of warm pinto beans over the couscous to make the meal complete.
When he first requested couscous I was worried, never having made couscous I wasn’t sure how to prepare it and did not want to let him down. I searched online and found a recipe from Ina Garten. The first attempt I followed the recipe exactly, down to the last dot.
And he loved it, yes!
This recipe became my go-to recipe for the next two years.
One evening while I searched for the couscous in the pantry I spotted a can of black beans next to a can of Mexican style diced tomatoes. It was time for a change, time to mix up our Ina recipe and add a bit of Tex-Mex goodness to our couscous. Of course I ran this idea by mi carino first. After all it is his dish. He was all for it.
And he loved it, yes!
These days our couscous is ever changing. We add pickled red onions, cilantro, roasted corn, queso fresco, avocado, beans. Anything our little hearts crave we add! Lately I have also tried Israeli couscous, which is featured here in this recipe, it is a bigger, pearl, shaped grain that holds up wonderful for days in the fridge. I pickled my red onions in Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine along with salt, pepper and Mexican oregano. The red onions were ready in less than 20 minutes, perky pickled and ready to be tossed with my couscous.
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- For Pickled Red Onions:
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- ½ cup Holland House sherry Cooking wine
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl toss the red onions with the sherry vinegar and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Let stand for 15 minutes, then whisk in the oil.
- For Salad:
- 1 cup Israeli Couscous
- 1 can 15oz black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can 15 oz Mexican style dice tomatoes with green chiles
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 avocados seeded and diced
- Sherry pickled red onions
For pickled red onions:
In a small bowl, toss the red onions with the sherry vinegar and season with salt, pepper and oregano. Let stand for 15 minutes, then whisk in the oil.
Cook the Israeli Couscous according to the package directions. Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside to cool. In a large bowl combine the black beans, diced tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, avocados and sherry pickled red onion; mix together. Add the Israeli Couscous and toss together. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust lime juice if needed.
Sweet Life Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Holland House Cooking Wines and Vinegars. Thank you for supporting the companies Sweet Life collaborates with which allows me to create fun and unique recipes.