Bruschetta salad perfect for picnics

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 23, 2012

By Alison Ladman
Associated Press
It’s easy to love basic bruschetta — thick slabs of toasted bread topped with a heap of chopped tomatoes and shredded basil, then drizzled with a mess of olive oil.
But that heap of tomatoes and that dribbling olive oil don’t exactly make for great picnic packing. So for a more portable take that sports the same great flavors, we transformed our favorite bruschetta into a cool couscous salad.
Perfect for a picnic, Israeli-style couscous actually is made from small balls of pasta. If you can’t find it, feel free to substitute another small pasta. If you can’t find the small fresh mozzarella balls, just cut up a larger ball of fresh mozzarella.
BruschettaCouscous Salad
Servings: 10
16 ounces Israeli couscous
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
20 ounces cocktail tomatoes,
1/2 C. fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 C. small fresh mozzarella balls
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
Salt and ground black pepper
Cook the couscous according to package directions. Allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the cooled couscous with the red onion, garlic, celery, tomatoes, basil, Parmesan, mozzarella, olive oil and vinegar. Stir to combine, then season with salt and black pepper. The salad can be served immediately, but the flavors improve if it is allowed to sit for 30 minutes.