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Caribbean Couscous Salad

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 10 min

Servings: 4

Recipe By: Robin Robertson

From:  The Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook
Used with permission of Robin Robertson

Other Salads
Other Beans
Other Pasta

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Caribbean Couscous Salad

Although it looks like a grain, couscous is actually made from semolina and therefore is more akin to pasta. Whatever you call it, it's delicious, nourishing, and easy to use. It also makes a great base for a salad. I think it works especially well with the tropical flavors of the Caribbean.

2 cups apple juice
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups instant couscous
1  small yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup cooked or canned dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed if canned
3  scallions, minced
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
 salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped pecans, roasted
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
Combine the apple juice, water, and a pinch of salt in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, peas, kidney beans, scallions, and dates. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, brown sugar, cumin, allspice, cayenne, and salt to taste.

Add the couscous to the vegetable mixture, pour on the dressing, and toss to combine well. Sprinkle with the pecans and coconut and serve. This salad will keep in the refrigerator for a day or two, but if you are making it ahead, do not add the pecans and coconut until ready to serve.

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