The days are getting longer and more sun-filled and the evenings breezier and balmier, and that can only mean one thing – summer is finally here.
Although we still have a bit of June gloom to get through before we technically hit summer, I’m getting a head start on my favorite season of the year. That means it’s time for lighter, brighter fare filled with the freshest of fresh vegetables like these broccoli and cauliflower couscous lettuce cups.
It’s the ultimate summertime dish, wonderfully light and loaded with fresh herbs and raw vegetables. It’s the ideal thing to make in the heat of summer when turning on the oven is just not an option.
I start by swapping out the traditional semolina based couscous for finely shredded broccoli and cauliflower. You’ve probably tried cauliflower rice by now, but did you know you could also rice broccoli? Ricing broccoli is just as easy as ricing cauliflower and the combination of the two give this couscous a vibrant green hue and fresh flavor. All you need to make your own is a food processor or a grater but you can also find pre-riced broccoli and cauliflower at many grocery stores these days.
The salad itself bears a strong resemblance to tabbouleh. The dressing is a simple combination of lemon juice and olive oil livened up with fistfuls of chopped fresh herbs like parsley, mint and scallions, but instead of tomatoes and cucumbers, thinly sliced radishes offer a nice bit of crunch and chopped pistachios a rich, buttery, nutty finish.
The finished “couscous” is then piled into little lettuce cups, like a handheld salad. The lettuce cups make for a more picnic and/or party friendly presentation. What you end up with is a vegetable-filled dish that’s big on fresh flavors and perfect for almost any summer occasion.