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Washington Post
Feta-Scallion Couscous Cakes

Crunchy addition on winter salad

Adding warm components amplifies winter salads. In this light main course, with little effort, quick-cooking couscous is turned into crunchy disks that top a simple preparation of greens.

If you don’t have whole-wheat couscous, take an extra 5 minutes and toast regular couscous in a small (dry) saucepan over medium heat until it is lightly browned and fragrant before you add the water. The step adds flavor.

Serve along with a seasonal soup. Adapted from Cooking Light’s “Big Book of Salads,” edited by Shaun Chavis (Oxmoor House, 2012).

Feta-Scallion Couscous Cakes With Tomato-Olive Salad

For the cakes:

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous (may substitute quick-cooking couscous)

3 scallions

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

3 tablespoons egg substitute (may substitute 1 large egg)

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons olive oil

For the salad:

2 Campari or other small, vine-ripened tomatoes (about 5 ounces total)

6 pitted kalamata olives

Leaves from 6 stems flat-leaf parsley

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 cups herb salad or mixed baby greens

For the cakes: Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir in the couscous; cover and remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, finely chop the white and light-green parts of the scallions. Add to the couscous, along with the cheese, egg substitute and pepper (to taste), stirring until well incorporated. The mixture should be moist and a bit loose.

Grease a large non-stick skillet with nonstick cooking oil spray; place the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet.

Divide the couscous mixture into 4 equal portions; they won’t hold together well, but they will firm up as they cook. Transfer to the skillet and use a spatula to flatten them to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Coat the top of each cake with nonstick cooking oil spray. Cook them for 2 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom, then carefully turn over the cakes and cook for 2 minutes to brown lightly on the second side. Turn off the heat.

For the salad: Coarsely chop the tomatoes, leaving as many of the seeds behind as possible. Finely chop the olives and parsley; combining them is OK. Transfer those three ingredients to a medium bowl; add the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of the oil and the pepper (to taste), stirring to incorporate.

Rinse and spin-dry the greens, then place in a bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil and toss to coat evenly. Divide the greens between individual plates. Top each portion with 2 warm couscous cakes, then spoon the tomato-parsley mixture evenly over the cakes. Serve right away. Makes 2 servings.

– Washington Post