You are 15 minutes away from this crowd pleasing arugula salad loaded with couscous, goat cheese, dried cherries, sliced almonds and crispy, crunchy crostini!
- 15 slices French baguette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 5 oz. fresh arugula
- 4 oz. herb and garlic goat cheese
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- juice of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- Cook couscous according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
- While the couscous is cooling, place sliced French baguette on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Brush the top of each slice of bread with olive oil and broil on high for 1-2 minutes or until dark golden brown and crisp.
- Flip slices over and brush the other side with olive oil. Broil for another minute or so until dark golden brown on top. Set aside.
- Add arugula to a large mixing bowl and pour cooled couscous on top.
- Add olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, thyme, lemon juice and a large pinch of salt and pepper to a mason jar. Cover and shake vigorously until well emulsified.
- Pour half the dressing over the arugula and couscous. Toss to coat evenly and transfer to serving platter.
- Crumble half the goat cheese over the salad.
- Then add sliced almonds and dried cherries.
- Spread remaining half of the goat cheese across several of the crostinis and add them to the salad along with a few naked crostinis.
- Serve remaining dressing on the side and enjoy!
You can serve this salad warm or cold and both ways taste delish! For a warm salad, just toss the couscous with the arugula and dressing while the couscous is still warm. I typically prefer to wait until the couscous has cooled and then add it to the salad but it’s great either way!
Don’t skip the crostini! I love croutons, like A LOT, but crostini are LIFE. Crispy slices of baguette slathered in olive oil – does it get any better than that? No. I’ll be honest that I typically only eat salads if they are accompanied by some kind of crunchy carb. That’s just how I roll.
Feel free to switch out the arugula for another green if you’d like. Spring greens, kale, romaine or even mustard greens will taste great in this salad. Any fresh green is going to give you nearly the same result – I just enjoy the slight pepperiness of arugula. And no, pepperiness is not a word. But I’m still going to use it!
Keywords: couscous salad, fall salad, dried cherry salad, vegetarian salad