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Summer Salad by the Lake

I came up with this recipe to show appreciation to all the teachers at my son’s school. The dish had to be as special as the teachers, who always go the extra mile for their students. I think this salad did the trick! It's hearty, earthy, sweet and loaded with nothing but good stuff. —Ramya Ramamurthy, Fremont, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Cook: 15 min.
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 15 garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium sweet peppers, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • SALAD:
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups fresh arugula or baby spinach
  • 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup fresh shelled peas or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sunflower kernels, toasted
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425°. Toss together garlic, sweet peppers, oil, salt and pepper; transfer to a parchment-lined 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring water, oil and salt to a boil. Stir in couscous and quinoa. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
  • Transfer the couscous and quinoa to the bowl with roasted pepper mixture. Stir in the remaining salad ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until blended. Pour over salad; gently toss to coat.

Test Kitchen tips
  • This is a versatile salad for which you can use any of the summer veggies and fruits. Try peaches or nectarines instead of pineapples, cherry tomatoes instead of heirloom, or spinach instead of arugula. The possibilities are endless.
  • In fall and winter, use root veggies such as grilled or roasted carrots, broccoli or squash.
  • Nutrition Facts
    3/4 cup: 269 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated fat), 3mg cholesterol, 700mg sodium, 29g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 3g fiber), 7g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 fat.

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    Average Rating:
    • Anna
      Aug 18, 2020

      This was literally the best salad I've ever made. Huge hit among my family too! I didn't use pineapple because I didn't have it, and it was still delicious.

    • Jill
      Jun 9, 2020

      I don't understand all the halved garlic cloves! Seems strange; can these be omitted?

    • NH-rescue
      Dec 31, 2019

      Pineapple and peas and couscous all in one dish? Who knew it could be so much fun! This salad has character and flexibility. You can substitute for the fruits, the grains and the greens . (I use kale instead of spinach or arugula.) Like a stew, this is a great salad that is a little different each time you make it. Really healthy and easy to put together!

    • kimspacc
      Dec 30, 2018

      Great for a summer potluck!

    • Sundararajan
      May 18, 2018

      Looks so good! Perfect side for grilling.