Herbal Recipes for a Holiday Feast: Couscous Confetti Salad in Red Chard Bundles

Make this tart salad for a tasty side dish.

| December/January 1994

Serves 6 to 8 

This tart, festive salad creates a pleasant interlude between heavier courses. The jewel tones of peppers and herbs are a happy surprise when your guests open their chard “packages”. You can prepare the couscous and vegetables a day ahead, and dress them just before wrapping in the chard leaves.

• 7/8 cup couscous
• 7/8 cup water
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• Water
• 8 large leaves red chard
• 1/2 each red, yellow, and green
• Bell peppers, cut in small dice
• 1/2 bunch scallions (the white and part of the green), cut in small dice
• 1/4 red onion, cut in small dice
• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup olive oil

1. Place the couscous in a large bowl. Bring 7/8 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil and pour it over the couscous. Cover and let stand, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender.

2. Trim off the stems of the chard leaves. Place enough water to cover the bottom and a pinch of salt in a skillet; bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chard leaves, toss until completely wilted, then rinse under cold water and pat dry.

3. Combine the diced vegetables, seasonings, vinegar, and oil with the couscous. Divide in eight portions. Lay a chard leaf out flat and place a mound of couscous mixture in the center. Bring the tip end of the leaf over the couscous, then fold in the sides and roll the leaf toward the stem end, enclosing the couscous. Lay the rolled leaf seam side down and snip open the top to reveal the filling.

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