Couscous-Vegetable Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
Chef Jared Clark
West Des Moines, Iowa
Grains and vegetables make for a healthy pairing in this hearty salad. Chef Jared Clark enhances the mix with a creamy salad dressing made by blending roasted red bell peppers, guajillo chilies and silken tofu—ingredients that add bold flavor and velvety texture while keeping a lid on fat.
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
1½ cups vegetable oil
5 guajillo chilies
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp. ground coriander
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. caraway seed
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 tbsp. sugar
1 package (12 oz.) soft silken tofu
2½ cups water, divided
2 tsp. salt
1 cup couscous
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from cob
1 lb. arugula, washed and dried
1 red onion, diced
3 radishes, sliced
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup cashews, chopped
1. For dressing, preheat oven to broil. On sheet pan, place red peppers. Place under broiler for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
2. In medium saucepan, heat oil to 250 F. Pour over guajillo chilies and garlic in heatproof containers; cool.
3. In saute pan, combine spices; toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Cool and place in blender container. Add vinegar, cilantro, sugar and tofu; blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. For salad, in medium saucepan, combine 1 ½ cups water and salt; bring to a boil. Add couscous; remove from heat and cover.
5. In small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil; add carrots. Cook until tender-crisp. Add corn kernels; cook 2 minutes and drain.
6. In serving bowl, combine arugula, onion radishes, cooked couscous, carrots and corn. Lightly dress with reserved tofu dressing. Top with feta and cashews.
Photograph courtesy of The Soyfoods Council