Pillowy pearl couscous provides the bulk of this fresh honeydew, grape, cucumber, and avocado salad tossed with fresh herbs laced in a ginger lime dressing that goes from breakfast or brunch to lunch and dinner with loads of summer’s seasonal flavors.
While I’m not one to watch much daytime TV, the other day I sat down to lunch and flipped the old telly on while I ate my ad hoc salad made from random tidbits of dinner from the night before. I swear, if anyone bore witness to some of the combinations of odds and ends I toss together for my daily lunches I would surely lose all of my food blogging cred.
If you haven’t watched daytime television in a while, you aren’t missing a dang thing. After trolling up and down all 687 channels trying to avoid marathon episodes of Hoarders!, I flipped over to The Cooking Channel where an episode of The Kitchen was airing. There I saw always poised and perky Katie Lee sharing a recipe with GZ for an exceptionally green quinoa salad, but not green with lettuce as one would expect in the traditional way.0505
Her recipe left the lettuce out entirely and instead focused on the green hues of grapes, cucumbers, avocado, and green onion with lots of fresh green herbs. I watched her pull it together and while initially the flavors sounded a bit odd together, I was intrigued by the monochromatic seasonal hue of the salad. GZ gave it his thumbs up (but of cooooourrrrse he did…it IS still TV after all) and so I took the bones of the recipe and made it my own.
So Pretty You Can Taste It
My basic tenant when creating a recipe is to think about how the flavors will pair together. But as a totally visual person, that isn’t my only goal. They say you taste with your eyes first, and I want my eaters to echo my 70+ year old Uncle Tom when they see this salad and say, “Well now Heid, that looks pretty enough to eat.” That’s why I also think about the shapes of the ingredients and how they’ll work together.
Different shapes and cuts will determine if the eater will be able to get a bite of each flavor with every forkful, or if the salad as a whole will look uniform in consistency, or if it will instead have a bit of play and bounce.
For my version of Katie Lee’s recipe, I wanted to have a bit more playfulness in my presentation and the roundness of the green grapes are where my inspiration got its start. I had it in my head this salad would be like the Russian dolls where each carved doll is revealed to be the same shape but smaller, and so my ingredients are different sizes to replicate my green grapes.
About the Recipe
Some of my favorite salads have been those where I’ve added balls of melon instead of going for the typical chopped to add some visual variety. My Cantaloupe and Mozzarella Caprese Salad and Cucumber Basil and Watermelon Salad are some of my faves and so to keep the ball-theme going and that’s why I’ve added honeydew melon balls to this salad. Next time I may cut the honeydew balls in half for smaller bites.
Next, I substituted pearl (Israeli) couscous for the quinoa because the couscous is a larger grain (or pasta to be more exact) and I love the texture it provides and it would keep my round beach ball theme rolling. When cooking couscous, follow the same guidelines as cooking pasta and salt your water so it flavors the grain as it cooks.
The cucumber crunch and creamy avocado were added in chunks instead of diced so they would play with the half moon shapes of our circular pattern and add even more green to the party.
The original dressing was simply lime, olive oil, and salt and pepper, but I felt it lacked flavor and was one note of lime. I switched things up by adding honey for a bit of sweetness, stony ground mustard for a little more bite, and some fresh ginger for heat with plenty of salt and pepper to taste for even more infused flavor.
What makes this salad really special is the infusion of herbs in every bite. Choose your favorite herbs for this salad, some suggestions are:
- Globe, Thai, or Lemon Basil
- Flat Leaf Parsley
While the amount sounds like a lot, don’t skimp on how much you add. My favorite combination together is mint and basil but use what you have on hand or what your tastebuds desire.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Summer Melon Couscous Salad with Avocado, Grapes and Mint
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups cooked pearl couscous , cooled (from an 8 ounce package)
- ½ honeydew melon , chopped or scooped into balls
- 2 cups green grapes
- 1 cucumber , halved, seeded, and cut into chunks
- 4 green onions , chopped
- 1 avocado , pitted and chopped
- 1 cup fresh herbs such as mint , basil, tarragon, flat leaf parsley, or a combination of herbs, chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the lime juice and zest, fresh ginger, ground mustard, and honey until well combined. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Add the couscous to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients. Pour the dressing over the couscous and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper and more chopped herbs as desired.
We send good emails. Subscribe to FoodieCrush and have each post plus exclusive content only for our subscribers delivered straight to your e-mail box.
Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for more FoodieCrush inspiration.
As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. There are affiliate links in this post of which I receive a small commission. All opinions are always my own.
vivienne westwood sale
Great Information,it has lot for stuff which is informative.
vivienne westwood sale
I have to grateful.
Yummy and tasty!
This article is truly the best.
However, a little issue is i can’t see the picture here.
Great Information,it has lot for stuff which is informative.I will share the post with my friends.
Very nice article. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing this yummy and new recipe
WOW, Nice and interesting recipe. Thanks
Salad is most powerful thing for health :) It is just combination of all recipe ingredients that I like it .
Thanks for sharing! Yummy and tasty!
Hail everything green! Pillowy pearl couscous gives the main part of this new honeydew, grape, cucumber, and avocado serving of mixed greens hurled with crisp herbs bound in an a ginger lime dressing that goes from breakfast or early lunch to lunch and supper with heaps of summer’s regular flavors.
So excited for Daredevil season 3. I just wish they would hurry up and bring out the season as fast as possible especially because they left the last season with so many unanswered questions.
Really hyped to see Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page.
They are not able to finish the writing assignments on time. For some students, writing any writing assignments is able to waste their time
This a good way to appreciate the teacher as they put their efforts to train students. UK dissertation Writers appreciates the teachers.
Loved your salad here!
Looks unique and delicious, really refershing
Thanks for sharing!
I should try this delicious looking recipe for a change. It is a combination of all ingredients that I love. Thanks for this one!
I love the salad recipe. I must try this again. Thanks for your great effort. Its really cool…
This look delicious. I love the variety of green foods in this salad. I will try it next week, love them <3
Grapes in a salad are so good! Nice one :)
I just love your creation for salad. You gave a new image to salad which thing i liked most. Now i am gonna try your ideas for salad. It seems so good. Thanks for sharing. gbu
Izzy @ She Likes Food
I love all the green things going on here!! Especially those melon balls!
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
This is so beautiful! What an incredible green (lettuce-less!) salad. And you’re right, so playful too. And fun food just seems to taste better, doesn’t it? Can’t wait to try this one out!
Letty / Letty's Kitchen
Beautiful Heidi! The generous dose of herbs really brings out all the different greens. Pinning this one for later!
Letty / Letty's Kitchen
Beautiful Heidi! Love your generous dose of herbs! Pinning this one for later!
Traci | Vanilla And Bean
Eat with your eyes… I’d devour this Heidi! Well done! Bypassing hoarders was a good thing. This salad and round up is fabulous!
I love how light & refreshing this looks!
I hardly ever watch TV during the day anymore (or even at night!), but maybe I should, because clearly, you found some amazing inspiration, Heidi! This is so beautiful, and I love how you made the matryoshka of salads! Stunning!
I love the thought that went into all of the different shapes of each ingredient and the various shades of green are just beautiful! It’s either Food Network or the news during the day IF I have the TV on. Daytime TV ain’t what it used to be. :)
I love the variety of green foods in this salad! So pretty and such a unique combo! In my opinion the only daytime TV show that was ever worth watching was The Price Is Right with Bob Barker. Now it’s all junk!
Aimee @ Simple Bites
This looks so darn pretty! I have loads of mint in my garden to use up; I’m feeling inspired.