So, as promised, here is the recipe that I entered in the Trader Joe’s recipe contest this spring. The inspiration was a roast chicken stuffed with olives, oranges and onions covered with an herby rub. I needed a side dish and was looking for something warm and comforting, a dish that resembled a stuffing. But, it being spring and all, it needed a fresh, crunchy, light update. Hence, this recipe was born. While we served it with roast chicken, you can easily serve it for lunch on its own.
The recipe uses Trader Joe’s ingredients, but you can easily make it with regular or Israel Couscous. Israeli Couscous has larger pearls and makes for a nice, squishy salad.
Spring Crunchy Grain Salad
1 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (you can substitute Isreali Couscous or even regular couscous)
2 oz (roughly 1/4 package) of Trader Joe’s Light Feta Cheese
2 small Fuji apples
4 celery stalks
1. Bring 1 3/4 cup water to a boil. Stir in the Harvest Grains Blend. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with a cover for about 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat and fluff with a fork.
2. Chop the Fuji apples into small dice and the celery stalks into thin slices and add to the Harvest Grains Blend.
3. Crumble the feta cheese over the salad.
4. Voila! You’re ready to go!
p.s. The Trader Joe’s recipe contest allows for only four ingredients, but to further spice up this salad, I would add some toasted pine nuts, drizzle a good glug of a fine olive oil and sprinkle generously with fresh-ground pepper.