Fancy Vaguely Mediterranean-Inspired Couscous Salad

I had a potluck to go to last week and I needed to bring something fancy. I also needed to spend some time reading free e-books about spies and intrigue, though, so I had to balance out the fancy aspect with the time-saving aspect. Fortunately, salad is both fancy and quick.

When I go to a potluck, I project my ish all over the place and assume that people are making judgments about me based on what I bring. I feel like I have to be extra healthy, extra delicious, and extra awesome. The pressure is probably all in my head, but there it is. Since I live in kind of a hippy-dippy town, I try to pull out all the organic and produce stops when making a potluck dish. Those tend to go over the best (“Just say no to Cheesy Blasters” is the town’s unofficial motto), and so that’s what I go with.

Here’s how it went down:

Prepare one cup of Israeli couscous

Dice 1 red bell pepper

Cut up ½ cucumber into nice bite size bits

Take 2 tomatoes and cut them up real nice, too

Kalamata olives? You’ll need about 10-15 of those, also (there’s a theme here) nicely chopped

If you got it, add either fresh basil or fresh cilantro ““ it’ll be tasty

Add a splash of lemon juice, a dash of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. I add some red pepper flakes sometimes, too, for extra heat.

If you feel like it, crumble some feta into this bad boy, but no pressure ““ it tastes great dairy-free.

Mix all this stuff up, put it in a nice container and truck it down to the potluck. If it’s anything like my potluck, people will take some to eat with lunch the next day. So, that’s pretty cool.

What do y’all bring to potlucks? Am I alone in my feelings of judgment? Don’t you just love cold salads?

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