Looks like a formula, feels like a recipe.


You’re looking at one of my favorite things to make. Usually, I just make this with whatever I have on hand, although sometimes I think ahead and grab something specific I know I’ll want in it: in this case, I thought to pick up some really nice French feta from Fresh Direct.

It doesn’t really have a name, because it’s different every time I make it, but here’s my usual formula, with the actual ingredients listed parenthetically.

No Name Salad I Usually Make When Its Too Hot To Cook (Not That It Has Been, But Still)

  • 3-4 parts small carbohydrate-type food (couscous)
  • 1-2 parts protein source (cannellini beans)
  • 0.5-1 parts something sweet (raisin/sultana mix)
  • 0.5-1 parts something salty (French feta)
  • appropriate amount of something pungent (small red onion)
  • fresh herbs, if possible (parsley and mint)
  • something acidic (lemon juice and red wine vinegar)
  • fat (olive oil)
  • salt (if necessary) and/or pepper

This is also one of those foods that gets better overnight, too, once the flavors have a chance to get all mingled up together. As you can see, this went into my husband’s bento — when he brought it home, the (empty) container actually smelled even better than when I had made it.
in bento


  • rachel

    I love that your husband takes a bento to work! And such a cute one at that. I’ve never made a couscous salad before but now that I have the secret formula, I might have to!

  • Jessi

    Looks really tasty! I bet it would be good with some nice olives and/or a chopped tomato (then again, I think just about anything is improved by adding olives…). I definitely need to increase my repertoire of dishes I can just throw together, rather than having to use a recipe for everything.

  • PstLyfDiva

    I lived with a family in France in high school and the mother would make almost this exact dish, just add tomatoes. It was one of the first times I had mint in this manner — it is fabulous! You brought back great memories, now I am going to share them with my gf.

  • ms_bobo

    Yummy… I use just about this exact formula. Of course, no couscous for us! I use rice mostly, but have also used rice noodles. This actually made me think I should try it with quinoa.


  • Kristen

    Corn is gluten-free, right? Sometimes I use a combination of corn and rice for the starchy base, because rice absorbs too much of the liquid if I have to keep the leftovers. Also, buckwheat/kasha would work too.

  • ms_bobo

    Yep, corn is safe. That’s a good idea.

    I always forget about buckwheat. We haven’t had any in our house in a long time. Bailey tried it about almost two years ago and didn’t like it. I should try it again though.