This salad is beautiful to look at and healthy to eat with ingredients like sweet potatoes, red peppers, couscous, orange juice, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, scallions, garlic and chives. It tastes as good as it looks, especially the roasted sweet potatoes which taste like candy after being caramelized in a hot oven.
I brush slices of sweet potatoes with olive oil, a little sea salt and ground black pepper before roasting in a hot oven. I like to use parchment paper when I roast vegetables, it makes cleaning the pan a lot easier.
I also like to make roasted red peppers which I add to my couscous salad, they look great and are a flavorful compliment to the sweet potatoes. These are simple to prepare and can be made ahead before you roast the sweet potatoes.
I used the toasted Israeli couscous which is sold in the bins at the Oliver’s Market by my house in Santa Rosa. It’s also simple to prepare and is perfectly dressed with a mixture of olive oil, orange juice, garlic, scallions, chives, salt and pepper. The red peppers look great against the creamy light colored couscous.
Add the roasted sweet potatoes and stir together in a large bowl before serving with additional toasted pumpkin seeds and chives.
1 cup toasted Israeli couscous
1 & 1/4 cups water
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into bite size slices, about 1/4″ thick
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup chives, minced, plus additional for sprinkling on top
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, plus additional for sprinkling on top
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing on roasted sweet potatoes
1 orange, juiced
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, for dressing and roasted sweet potatoes
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
1. In a medium saucepan bring lightly salted water to a boil and add the couscous, simmer on low heat for about 8-10 minutes until tender and all the water is absorbed. Transfer to large bowl and stir to cool slightly before adding olive oil, orange juice, zest, garlic, salt and pepper. Set couscous aside.
2. Place sweet potato slices on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for about 25 minutes, remove from oven and stir the slices, put back in the oven for about 5 more minutes. You want the slices to be browned but still chewy, not dried out. Let cool for 10 minutes.
3. Add the scallions, chives, pumpkin seeds, red pepper and sweet potatoes to the couscous and gently stir to combine. Serve with the additional chives and pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.
Makes 4-6 servings
This salad also keeps well and makes a good picnic salad.