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Marilyn Markel from Southern Season Gourmet Store in Mount Pleasant prepares a colorful summertime couscous salad with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers.


1 cup water

1 cup couscous

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

1/2 cup chopped olives, roughly chopped

1/4 cup chopped summer mild herbs

1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 pound mixed heirloom tomatoes of various colors, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cubed

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 teaspoons Mediterranean seasoning

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a small saucepan, heat water over medium-high heat. Place couscous and salt in a large nonreactive bowl. Pour water over the couscous mixture and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes, or until couscous is soft. Add vegetables and seasonings. Stir to blend. If serving that day, allow an hour or two to sit at room temperature for flavors to develop, otherwise refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.

Marilyn Markel is culinary director of Southern Season’s cooking schools. She began her career as an instructor at the Central Market cooking school in Plano, Texas. In 2003 Markel moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., to develop Southern Season’s new cooking school. She served as a judge for the James Beard Cookbook Awards in 2013.