Toasted Couscous and Lemon With Cucumbers and Feta
cooked pearl couscous (from ½ cup dry)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
red wine vinegar
cherry tomatoes, halved
shallot, thinly sliced
cucumber, roughly chopped
feta cheese, broken into large crumbles
roughly chopped fresh dill
Couscous is already quick to make, which is why I’m always surprised that it’s not used more often for weeknight dinners. But as great as couscous is on its own, it’s even better when crisped up in the air fryer. It transforms the pasta into a chewy, crunchy grain that stands up to this bright, acidic dressing and fresh vegetables inspired by a Greek salad. Once assembled, the salad stands up over a couple of days in the refrigerator, so it’s great to make ahead of time for your weekly lunch meal prep.
- Cut off two ¼-inch-thick slices from the cut side of the lemon half and remove the seeds. (Set the rest of the lemon aside.) Finely chop the slices, then combine them with the couscous and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly in the oil.
- Transfer the couscous to a 7-inch round cake pan insert, metal cake pan, or foil pan and reserve the bowl. Place the pan in the air fryer and cook at 350°F, stirring every 5 minutes, until lightly toasted and crunchy, about 20 minutes.
- Return the hot couscous to the reserved bowl and toss with the vinegar, tomatoes, shallot, and cucumber. Finely grate the zest of the reserved lemon piece over the couscous and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, then top the salad with the feta and dill before serving.
Reprinted with permission from Air Fry Every Day by Ben Mims, copyright © 2018. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography credit Denny Culbert © 2018