Who doesn’t love a picnic? Like the proverbial “cake walk” or a “piece of pie,” the very idea of this well-packed basket of goodies to share on a blanket under a big, blue sky defines ease—a very lovely day, indeed. Add the love of your life and some chilled bubbly and the divas would be hard pressed to improve upon perfection.
We like to think of preparing and packing the edibles as foreplay. Contrasting textures and flavors, sweets and savories—something old, something new. And even if coleslaw, macaroni and ‘tater salad make your mother-in-law smile, every now and then, it’s fun to mix it up a little.
If you can boil water, you’ve mastered couscous. Often confused as a grain, it’s actually teensy pasta, fabulous in do-ahead, take-along salads. Sans the mayo, this diva mélange is naturally light, and perfect for hot, summer days. Fluffy couscous, sweet corn, raisins and crunchy veggies come together to inspire the very best sort of lip smacking and finger licking. We’re free this weekend—are you?
Couscous on the Go-Go
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
11/2 cups chopped seedless cucumber
1 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup raisins
1 11-ounce can extra-sweet, whole-kernel corn, drained
Boil water in a small saucepan and stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard, honey and oil. Add the red pepper, cucumber, onion, raisins and corn. Add the couscous and stir gently to combine. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
Diva note: Can be made a day or two in advance.