It's good to be back home after what seemed like a whirlwind trip to England to visit family. I love to travel, so it was not only awesome to be with loved ones, but so fun to discover more of London and the surrounding countryside. Being an innate "foodie" at heart, I get incredibly inspired by new and interesting culinary delights I get to experience in other parts of the world. I know that often Bristish food has a reputation as dull and boring, but my husband and I have found quite the opposite to be true, especially in London. My head is still spinning from all the fresh, fun new foods we tried and you can be sure that I will be re-creating many of them for the blog over the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
There is a charming little coffee shop/cafe just a short walk from my daughter's house in London called Local Hero. We love to stop there for a cappuccino before we get on the bus to go downtown or to Hyde Park or wherever we are headed that day. They have melt in your mouth croissants and pastries to go along with the coffee, but at lunch time, their menu includes deliciously fresh salads, huge toasted sandwiches and fabulous quiche selections.
I had this wonderful Couscous Salad with Hummus and Pita from Local Hero one day during the visit. I enjoyed it so much that I ordered it again a few days later so that I could use my "crazy chemist" skills (this is what my husband calls it) to deconstruct and figure out how to recreate this delicious salad. I think I've come fairly close and hope that you will love this salad too! I served it tonight with an herb grilled chicken, but it is equally delicious for a lunch or dinner on it's own. Enjoy a bit of London!
Couscous Salad with Hummus and Pita
1 ½ cups Couscous
2 cups Chicken Broth
2 medium plum tomatoes, finely chopped and drained on a paper towel
½ cup seedless cucumber (usually plastic-wrapped), finely chopped
½ medium red onion, finely chopped
½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh herbs, finely chopped - It really is up to you what type of herbs you use. I used about 1/2 fresh parsely and 1/4 fresh thyme and 1/4 fresh chives. This is what I had, but experiement with other herbs. Basil would be delicious as would fresh oregeno.
¼ cup Greek salad dressing, I use our House Dressing that I shared in an earlier post for Greek Salad.
Sea salt , to taste, I didn't need any salt as the dressing and Feta cheese is salty, try salad before adding salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Put couscous in a medium bowl. Pour hot chicken broth over and stir. Cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2. Add chopped vegetables and herbs and stir to mix. Add salad dressing and stir once again.
3. Serve couscous with a handful of your favorite greens, a scoop of your favorite hummus, some pan grilled pita (check out the technique here) and a lemon wedge or two for squeezing. I drizzled the greens with a bit more of the House Dressing! That's it! Enjoy!
Yum - Thanks Local Hero!
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon fresh mint leaves, chopped fine*
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper (or to taste)
*the mint leaves are optional but they add a delicious, unique, authentic flavor to the dressing, not minty at all!
1. Place all salad dressing ingredient in a glass jar. Cover and shake well.