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Milwaukee TV (take three!)

Posted Jul 09 2012 1:53pm

Summer is here, and it’s come in the form of this salad.

It’s got crunch…just like the barely alive yellow grass growing outside my window.

It’s got girth…just like…ummm…yeah…my grandpa reads this blog…not going there.

It’s got cool…the kind of cool we aren’t experiencing this summer and instead, turning to cold showers, our air conditioners and endless cups of iced coffee to provide.

It’s got color…just like the amazing architecture tour I took in Chicago this past weekend.

It’s got texture…couscous (creamy), radishes (crispy) and almonds (crunchy). Although, the Tempura Avocado Sandwich I ate at Uncommon Ground in Chicago wins the creamy category of summer hands down. Oh.my.gosh. I’m still dreaming about that lunch.

I don’t use this phrase lightly, but seriously…this salad is a party in the mouth.

Don’t believe me? Let Shawn Patrick tell you what is up!

(Click here if you are having trouble viewing the above video)

So go out and eat up this party of a summer already!

Preferably with a glass of fruity Iced Mint Green tea to wash it all down with. Because summer goes by way too fast and is usually packed with way too many things and is way too much fun to sit behind a computer all day reading blogs that use the phrase “party in the mouth.”

Not that you need it, but ahem, that was me giving you permission to stop reading my blog right now and make this salad WHILST drinking a beer instead.

Just drink a second in my honor, mmmkay?

Because this is the kind of meal I love to make most. One bowl filled with fresh, in-season vegetables mixed with whole grains, protein, one block of cheese and a zingy vinaigrette. Because if there is one thing you must know about me, it’s that I like my wine cheap and my vinaigrettes zingy. But seriously, chewy whole wheat Israeli couscous…crispy radishes…almonds…melt-in-your-mouth feta…creamy lentils…and an entire bag of arugula, you cannot go wrong.

Lentil Israeli Couscous Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

2 2/3 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
3 1/4 cup water
1 (4-oz) bag arugula
1 cup cooked lentils
1 medium zucchini, quartered
10-12 small to medium radishes, thinly sliced
1 (8-oz) block feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup roasted, salted almonds

Lemon Basil Jalapeno Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
juice + zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and finely diced
6-8 basil leaves, torn into small pieces
salt + pepper, to taste

In a pot over high heat, bring couscous and salted water to a boil. Put a lid on the pot, and reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until couscous has soaked up all the water, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss cooked couscous, arugula, lentils, zucchini and radishes. Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients in a glass mason jar or small bowl. Pour over the couscous mixture, and toss to evenly coat salad. Add feta and almonds, tossing one last time. Season with salt + pepper, if desired.

Makes 8 servings

For the Iced Mint Green Tea, steep 8 bags of mint green tea (or 8 T of loose leaf tea) in 8 cups of water in a pitcher overnight. Cut a lemon into 1/4-inch slices. Before serving, add lemon, frozen peaches + frozen strawberries (or any frozen fruit you have on hand).

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