Searching for summery dishes? Look no further, because we’ve created the recipe for the ideal summer salad. Juicy tomatoes just plucked from the garden give this dish its irresistible freshness. This salad is so easy to whip up for dinner parties, but it’s also such a scene-stealer—your guests will never believe that this summer salad requires only a handful of ingredients. It also makes the most of seasonal produce, since the tomatoes take center stage. It’s the ideal impromptu dinner dish, because it only takes a half hour to put together, but it’s also an easy side. Cherry or grape tomatoes add a juicy bite, and the delectable tang of Honey Vinaigrette dressing ensures that everyone will reach for a second helping. The couscous base is unexpected and oh-so satisfying. Our Test Kitchen professionals loved the toasty flavors of the couscous, which give the salad warm, nutty notes. Israeli couscous can be hard to find, but if you’re having a difficult time tracking it down, check the organic or Mediterranean food section of the grocery store. You may also be able to find it at a health food store. (If you’d like, you can also substitute quinoa for the couscous.) Don’t forget the Parmesan, because it’s the perfect topper. It’s so delicate, if you close your eyes, you’ll imagine you’re on a terrace in Florence. This recipe serves four, so if your party doubles, just double—or even triple—the recipe. It’s just as delicious eaten indoors as it is served al fresco underneath a midsummer sky. You could also easily customize this recipe. It takes no time at all to sprinkle in different herbs, throw in your favorite cheeses, and add wilted spinach or arugula. With a little creativity, this can become your personalized, go-to summer salad. To make your party prep even easier, the Honey Vinaigrette can be made up to two days in advance. Pour over the salad prior to serving for the ultimate summery, table-ready dish.
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or other herb
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/2 cup)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss together tomatoes, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until tomatoes burst and caramelize, about 15 minutes.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a saucepan over medium-high. Add couscous, and cook, stirring often, until couscous turns golden and smells toasty, 4 to 5 minutes. Add water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until couscous is tender, 10 to 13 minutes.
Transfer couscous to a serving bowl. Add Honey Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Gently stir in roasted tomatoes and parsley. Top with Parmesan.