The Art of Beer Cooking: Caprese Couscous

Caprese is a simple Italian salad with tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and drizzled with balsamic. Simple, but absolutely fantastic. I decided to take the flavor profiles of this simple salad and create a more substantial meal with couscous. Couscous is a great canvas for flavors. For this recipe, I cooked the couscous with a little beer to infuse the flavor into every bite. I chose New Glarus Two Women which worked really well. It stood up to the bold flavor profiles without being overpowering.

Couscous

Box of pearled couscous
¾ cup beer
½ cup of mozzarella
1 medium tomato
Grated parmesan
Fresh basil leaves
Tablespoon oregano
Tablespoon parsley

Vinaigrette

½ cup beer (same beer as in couscous)
1 tablespoon balsamic oil
½ lemon
½ teaspoon garlic powder

Prepare the couscous as directed on the box. For this recipe I did one cup water and ¾ cup beer. Remember to add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the oregano and parsley while cooking to infuse the flavors. Cook and let cool. Transfer to a bowl and put in the fridge until cooled off enough that it won’t melt the cheese.

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella in to very thin pieces. This is a rustic dish so perfection is not necessary, or desired. Cut the basil leaves into small strips.

Grab your bowl of cooled couscous out of the fridge and mix in the mozzarella, tomatoes, parmesan, and basil.

In a separate bowl, mix up your vinaigrette. I served this dish on a bed of spinach, but you can use any salad mix you like. Arugula would be fantastic. Add a healthy helping of couscous to the top of the greens. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and dig in!

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