Watermelon and mint transform a humble couscous salad into something wonderfully refreshing and light, and perfect for heat-wave like summery days. Tossed together with cool, crunchy baby cucumbers, refreshing mint, tangy lime and a little fresh red chili and green onion for pep, this salad will not only keep you refreshed and satisfied in summer but is so easy to prepare you can forget all about any of those lofty cooking goals you may have had.
I love summer evenings that involve practically zero amounts of cooking. But, I do of course like to embrace outdoor grilling — it’s practically synonymous with summer. And in our case it more than “practically” synonymous — in our world, grilling means it is finally warm enough to think about grilling. And since we don’t have a grill, it also means we are on holidays somewhere enjoying a terrace, a garden, the sun. Glory days.
Admittedly, when I say I “like to embrace outdoor grilling”, it’s actually the part I happily hand over to my favorite Schwabe. I’ll gladly keep to salad duty. It leaves me more time for chilling on the patio and freedom to relax and be my goofy self without having to pop up what seems every five minutes to check on how the grill is progressing. Grilling is labor intensive, or shall I say attention intensive. All that standing and flipping, poking and prodding. And round after round of it until everyone gets their fill. I’ll stand in the kitchen and stir risotto any day. :)
For this recipe, the baby cucumbers I used were more than just small — they were ultra mini (the size of my finger mini), so I used about 5 or 6 of them and sliced them instead of dicing them.
Minted Couscous Salad with Watermelon
Serves 4 -6
1 cup couscous (200 g)
1 1/4 cups boiling water (310 ml)
1 1/2 cups seedless watermelon, cut into cubes (about 200 g)
2-3 baby cucumbers, diced (alternatively, 1 half an English cucumber seeded and diced)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 fresh red chili, seeded and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint leaves, plus a few leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
juice from 2 or 3 limes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup crumbled sheep’s milk feta cheese (75 g)
1. Place the couscous in a medium-large bowl, and add the boiling water. Cover with a plate and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and fluff with a fork. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Once the couscous has cooled, transfer to a large serving bowl and add the watermelon, cucumber, green onions, fresh chili, parsley and mint. Drizzle with the olive oil and lime juice and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If time allows, allow to sit for 15-20 minutes in order for the flavors to meld.
3. Before serving, toss again, and sprinkle with the crumbled feta and a few mint leaves for garnish. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and enjoy!