Couscous Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers, & Citrus Dressing

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dried currants

In a saucepan over high heat, combine the water, 1 tsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt.  Bring to a boil, then pour in the couscous, stirring.  Remove pot from heat.  Cover and let stand 15 minutes to allow water to be absorbed.  Roast the red pepper under a broiler, turning until blackened.  Alternately, roast over an open flame until blackened all over.  Place pepper in a closed paper bag or covered bowl to steam for 10 minutes.  Peel, remove seeds and chop coarsely. Stem cherry tomatoes and cut in half.  Place couscous in a large serving bowl, fluff with a fork.  Add the peppers, tomatoes, mint, orange juice and zest, ¼ cup olive oil, vinegar and ½ tsp salt and currants.  Mix gently.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.  Serve chilled or allow to return to room temperature.  Garnish with additional mint, if desired.