Bruschetta couscous salad

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4D

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Serves 10

It's easy to love basic bruschetta – thick slabs of toasted bread topped with a heap of chopped tomatoes and shredded basil, then drizzled with a mess of olive oil.

But that doesn't exactly make for great picnic packing. So for a more portable take that sports the same great flavors, we transformed our favorite bruschetta into a cool couscous salad.

Perfect for a picnic, Israeli-style couscous is made from small balls of pasta. If you can't find it, substitute another small pasta. If you can't find the small fresh mozzarella balls, just cut up a larger ball of fresh mozzarella.

Recipe from Alison Ladman for the Associated Press

INGREDIENTS

16 ounces Israeli couscous

1/2 small red onion, finely diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 ribs celery, finely diced

20 ounces cocktail tomatoes, quartered

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup small fresh mozzarella balls

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt and ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the couscous according to package directions. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled couscous with the red onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, basil, Parmesan, mozzarella, olive oil and vinegar. Stir to combine, then season with salt and black pepper. The salad can be served immediately, but the flavors improve if it is allowed to sit for 30 minutes.

Per serving: 310 calories; 100 calories from fat (32 percent of total calories); 11 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrate; 11 g protein; 3 g fiber; 180 mg sodium.

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