Feta and Green Onion Couscous Cakes over Tomato-Olive Salad
Photo: Randy Mayor; Stylist: Cindy Barr
1/3 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons egg substitute
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups gourmet salad greens
How to Make It
To prepare cakes, place couscous in a medium bowl; stir in 1/2 cup boiling water. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Cool slightly. Add cheese and the next 3 ingredients (through pepper). Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Spoon about 1/3 cup couscous mixture into 4 mounds in pan. Lightly press with a spatula to flatten to 1/2 inch. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Coat tops of cakes with cooking spray. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 2 minutes or until heated.
To prepare salad, combine tomato and next 5 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Arrange 1 1/2 cups greens on each of 2 plates. Top each serving with 1/2 cup tomato mixture; arrange 2 cakes over tomato mixture.
I loved this dish and would not hesitate to serve it as a light entree or an appetizer for guests. Took readers' advice and made the couscous mixture the night before, packed it into molds, then let them chill overnight--no problems at all with crumbling. Loved the salad, but used 1/2 cilantro and 1/2 fresh oregano instead of parsley (lots more flavor), cooked with only 1/2 tsp. of oil and put the rest of the oil in the salad dressing, and crumbled just a wee bit more feta over the top of everything, along with a squirt of fresh lemon. Served with a pureed asparagus soup for a satisfying dinner; some people might want bread to round things out.
Didn't make the salad, only the cakes. Plus, I only had this recipe as it was on the same page as another recipe I wanted to save. Glad I saw it as I was sifting through my recipes as I had a ton of leftover couscous. I used whole eggs, just enough to hold the cakes together in the pan. Dee-licious! I always make extra couscous so I can make cakes with the leftovers.
Great tasting light dinner. You can make as is (still a 5 star) or kick it up however and it turns out well (5+ stars as you make it how you want!).
After a few tries here's some tips:
If making a double batch (makes 6) use one whole egg and you're good to go.
I've added black olive tepanade and roasted red pepper to the mix before cooking and they still worked out great. (out of olives for the salad part so I put it in the couscous)
Also a tip- measure out 1/3 c of th mix, put into pan and then press into a round cookie cutter- this REALLY helps them to hold their shape and I had no problems in a non-stick pan with a smidge of oil.
If you're not a fan of tomatoes (like my guy) I just made a red-wine dressing for the salad and its just as tasty.
I made only the cakes, not the tomato salad. I followed the recipe, no changes except I chilled the mixture before making the cakes. I did follow the advice to firmly press the mixture into the 1/3 C measuring cake. I did not use a non-stick skillet and that's where I had my problem -- even though I used PAM and the 2 tsp olive oil the cakes stuck to the pan -- so the coucous didn't come out in 'cakes', but the coucous was messy, but tastey. I may try to make them again, using a non-stick skillet.
I'll probably make again for its ease of prep and the fact that it's consistent w/the way my MD wants me to eat. I liked the fact that I could make the tomato mixture first, refrigerate it, go back to work in the study, then finish the recipe when I was ready. I'll see how the two leftover cakes heat up tomorrow. My only hesitation is the difficulty w/dealing w/the cakes. I did use 3 tablespoons of beaten egg rather than substitute, though I doubt that made a difference. Overall, a tasty, healthful dinner.
We substituted garden fresh cilantro for the parsley which really enhanced the tomato combination. I agree with another reviewer, the couscous mixture should have been packed firmly in the measuring cup before browning. Although I've been a Cooking Light subscriber for 12 years, this is the first review I've written - this recipe was worth it and we will definitely make it again! 06/15/09
I doubled this recipe and got good results (ended up making 6 cakes instead of 4). I found I needed to press the mixture into the measuring cup before I put it in the pan in order to get the cakes to stick together. Salad was delicious overall, and I will definitely make these again.