Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato And Basil Couscous Salad (vegetarian)

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This recipe comes from a friend and client of mine (thanks for sharing Patty). Very refreshing, this is a great summer dish, and easy to prepare. It’s the kind of goodie you keep ready in the fridge during the hot months for when friends drop by to share a glass of wine. Enjoy!

2 cups tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup fresh mozzarella (about 3 oz.), diced
3 Tbs. shallots, minced
2 Tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 Tsp. lemon juice (or balsamic vinegar) (I used pomegranate balsamic vinegar)
1/2 Tsp. salt, to taste
1/4 Tsp. fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove, crushed and minced (I used 2 cloves)

Couscous
1 1/4 cups water (or whatever box says if you don’t use same brand)
1 box Near East Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil couscous (I used plain Israeli couscous, no season packet)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Basil leaves to garnish

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, shallots, olive oil, lemon juice (or vinegar), salt, pepper and garlic. Toss well and then refrigerate, covered, to marinate for 30 minutes.
In a saucepan, bring the water, olive oil and spice pack from the Near East box to boil. Stir in the couscous, remove from stove (Israeli couscous needs to be simmered until soft), cover, set aside for 5 minutes. With a fork, fluff the couscous, set aside to cool. Add the cooled couscous and chopped basil to the tomato mixture. Garnish with whole basil leaves and serve.

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