It’s finally warming up and we’ve been dreaming about summer picnics at the park over here. This is a great summer picnic salad filled with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and fennel making the colors so bright and so fun.  We used a tricolor pearled couscous here but you can certainly use a plain pearled variety or even a Moroccan-style couscous.  Try this salad on its own for a light lunch or pair with some tasty kabobs and anything else you love to BBQ.  Up to the dressing, you can prepare this salad a day ahead.  Prior to eating, drizzle on the dressing and let marinade for about 15 minutes to make sure the couscous soaks in enough of the fresh lemony vinaigrette.  

 [ingredients title=”What you’ll need”]

  • 1 ½ cups tricolor or plain pearled couscous
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 ½  cup quartered cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • ¾ cup chopped mint (plus a few sprigs for garnish)
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Salt & pepper to taste


[directions title=”Prep + Cook”]

  1. Cook couscous according to package directions.  Let cool.
  2. In a large serving bowl, gently toss together couscous, fennel, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, parsley & mint. 
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste.  Pour over salad and toss to coat (or set aside if storing for future meals). 
  4. Chill before serving for about 15 minutes and top with a little extra mint for garnish.  ENJOY!


Serves 6

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Author:  Jennifer Kuhar