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lemon cucumber couscous salad + tzatziki

I am typically very much in favor of seasonal dishes, but when the temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s in February, I tend to throw all of that out the window. Who wants something hot and steamy when you’ve just spent the afternoon outside getting a tan? Not I. And yes, I actually picked up some new tan lines this Saturday.

So instead I decided to go all Greek and springy and make this fantastic lemon cucumber couscous salad with tzatziki. I simply adore Greek food and my husband and I eat Mediterranean meals almost exclusively during the warmer months. Our house is always stocked with loads of hummus, seafood, sun dried tomatoes, pita chips, and white wine. This couscous salad incorporates everything I love about Mediterranean flavors and pairs perfectly with salmon or grilled chicken and a nice, crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Tzatziki is a traditional Greek dip that is delicious with just about everything, and although I have it pictured here with pita chips – I would be lying if I told you I didn’t put a fair dollop on top of my couscous as well.

Lemon Cucumber Couscous Salad

Ingredients

1½ to 2 cups couscous
2 medium cucumbers
¼ bunch parsley
1 medium lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the couscous to boiling water, stir once to combine, cover with lid and remove from heat.

Cut the cucumber into quarter rounds and place them in a large bowl. Take a big handful (or about ¼ bunch) of parsley and pull the leaves from the stems. Roughly chop the parsley and then add it to the bowl with the cucumber. Use a fine holed cheese grater or a zester to remove the thin layer of yellow zest from the lemon and add it the bowl with the other ingredients.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a small bowl (you should get 2-3 tablespoons of juice). Add the olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine and then pour the dressing over the cucumber, parsley, and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

Add the couscous and crumbled feta to the bowl. Gently stir to combine all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately or chill until ready to eat.

*recipe adapted via

Tzatziki

Ingredients

½ English cucumber, peeled
2 cups cold plain Greek yogurt
4 cloves garlic, pressed
⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
1½ Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ tsp salt, or to taste
⅛ tsp black pepper

Instructions

The Cucumber should be peeled, finely diced and strained of it’s juices. I squeezed it really tight by the fistful. You can use a cheese cloth if you wish. Getting rid of excess juice is important so that you tzatziki sauce isn’t watery the next day.

Combine the strained and chopped cucumber with 2 cups plain greek yogurt, 1½ Tbsp lemon juice, 4 pressed garlic cloves, ⅓ cup chopped dill, ½ tsp salt (add more to taste) and ⅛ tsp black pepper.

Mix everything together and add more salt to taste if needed. It’s best to refrigerate for about 1 hour before serving to let the flavors meld. It tastes even better when refrigerated overnight!

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