Say hello to everything I ever needed in a salad.
This salad, you guys. It’s so simple yet so delicious…I can hardly believe how well it came out. It was one of those pleasant surprise recipes. You know what I mean? You knew it was going to be good, but you had no it was going to be THIS good. That is this salad for me.
I am just like every other person out there: when the weather warms up, I crave salads, particularly super crisp and crunchy ones, like woah. So basic. But there are worse things, right? I get serious hankerings (yeah, I can’t believe I just used that word either) for big salads this time of year. Caesar salad will be my forever favorite; I just love that crunch! I love meals like this one because they really do fill me up for hours without making me feel sluggish and gross.
As already stated, this salad is very simple. But sometimes simple really is the best cure for what ails ya. If you have any winter blues still lingering, this one’s for you. Plus, we’re probably all far more inclined to eat a healthy salad if it’s easy to throw together, right? Right.
We’ve got juicy, ripe strawberries (which have been amazing so far this year), crunchy snap peas, buttery avocado, loads of greens, and one of my favorite carbs: Israeli couscous. Now, I have to say, when I first heard of Israeli (or pearled) couscous, I was majorly skeptical. Because I do NOT like regular couscous. It’s totally a texture thing for me. Couscous does not have enough texture for me. It’s the same reason I can’t really get behind quinoa. I know, I know. I’m definitely the minority here, but I like a little more substance to my carbs. I mean, if I am going to justify eating a carb, I want to really FEEL it in my mouth. Is that weird? Probably. It’s just my texture freakiness coming out again.
But Israeli couscous? I looooove it. It’s soft and chewy and…well…FUN to eat. It has enough textural substance to it while not weighing things down. It’s perfect in salads!
Everything gets coated in the salad dressing of my dreams: a creamy lemon-poppyseed dressing! Yes. So, so good. Well, if you like lemon, that is. I am a self-proclaimed FA-REAK for lemon anything, and this dressing is so tangy and bright and delicious, it makes me smile. It’s a little bit creamy and a little bit sweet and a lot a bit yummy. Even my husband, who does NOT like lemon, enjoyed this dressing. And that’s really saying something considering that I might be married to the world’s stubbornest man (Love you, dear).
Another thing that’s great here is that everything can be prepped ahead and served over the course of a few meals, if needed. Cook your couscous and snap peas, make your dressing, and prep your produce all ahead. Portion out what you need for each meal and put the rest back in the fridge until next time. I ate the leftovers from this salad all week long for lunch. And I think I fell in love with it more and more each time.
And I think you will too!
1½ cups Israeli couscous
6 cups baby spinach
2 cups sliced strawberries
½ cup sugar snap peas
1 avocado, sliced
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the Israeli couscous according to package directions. During the last 2 minutes of cooking time, add the sugar snap peas to the pot. Drain everything and set aside to cool.
Prep the other fresh ingredients for the salad and add them to a large serving bowl. Add the cooled peas and couscous to the mix and toss to combine.
Whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sour cream (or yogurt), honey, and poppy seeds. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the dressing thickens and emulsifies.
Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Add the dressing to the salad just before serving. Toss well to evenly coat.