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Tunisian Couscous Salad

3 medium red bell peppers
1 1/2 cups instant couscous (10 ounces)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 c Moroccan or other small, black, oil-cured olives, pitted, coarsely chopped
2 green onions, white parts and about 3 inches of green parts, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 pound ripe beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Preheat the broiler. Put the peppers on a sheet pan lined with foil
and broil for about 15 minutes, turning once or twice to ensure
they blister and blacken evenly. Remove to a bowl, cover with
plastic wrap, and let cool. Peel, seed, and cut into 1/2-inch dice.
Set aside.

Put the couscous in a large mixing bowl. Pour 21/4 cups boiling
water over the couscous. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir. Cover with
plastic wrap, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, or until swollen
and tender.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, and cumin.
Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the cucumber, olives, green
onions, garlic, tomatoes, and roasted peppers. Pour the dressing
over the couscous and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature
for at least 1 hour. Just before serving, stir in the parsley.

Serves 4.


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