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This post appears in the Personal Touches in the Kitchen challenge.


Make this Caprese Couscous Salad Recipe for lunch, dinner or a potluck. This fresh and easy side dish is full of flavor! Fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil with couscous and balsamic dressing. Hand picked, quality ingredients make this simple dish extra special!

Caprese Couscous Salad Recipe - This fresh and easy side dish is full of flavor! Fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil with couscous and balsamic dressing. #epicurious #outofthekitchen

I am not one to preach about only buying organic, cage free, nitrate free, preservative free, etc. Really, I just believe in choosing the ingredients that you personally feel good about and can afford. And most importantly, buying ingredients from someone you can trust. This can be local farmer’s or your favorite grocery store.

During the warm months I buy much of my produce at the local farmer’s market. When speaking with the farmers you can sense their passion for food and that is carried over to their products. They are always more than happy to answer questions and share their knowledge with you.

The farmer’s market vendor that sold me these perfectly ripe tomatoes beamed with pride as I took photos. He happily joked about his soon to be famous tomatoes.

Fresh Farmer's Market Tomatoes - #epicurious #outofthekitchen

The nice lady that sold me fresh basil let me know to trim the bottoms and place into a cup with room temperature water. A very helpful tip for keeping basil peppy for a few extra days.

It is this kind of personal interaction and extra attention that keeps me going back to the farmer’s market. Plus it is so great to know exactly where my produce is coming from. And every time I learn something new it makes me a better cook.

Fresh Farmer's Market Basil - #epicurious #outofthekitchen

Not everyone can get to a local farmer’s market. The prices can be a bit higher and most markets are closed during the winter.

That is when I go to my favorite grocery store. I’ve learned over the years that sometimes great service is worth the couple extra dollars. I prefer to go to a smaller grocer and buy a few less groceries that are higher in quality. We all know that quality can vary depending on the store. So choose the store you can trust. It is about balance. I buy mostly organic produce, organic dairy and cage free organic eggs. But I do not live or die by these rules.

So I guess what I’m saying is, what is more important than the food that we put into our bodies each and every day? Buy food from people you trust and find what works for you.

Caprese Couscous Salad Recipe - This fresh and easy side dish is full of flavor! Fresh tomato, mozzarella and basil with couscous and balsamic dressing. #epicurious #outofthekitchen

Caprese Couscous Salad Recipe



1½ Cups Israeli Couscous – cooked according to package instructions then cooled
12 ounces Small Vine Ripe Tomatoes – halved
15 Mini Fresh Mozzarella Balls – quartered
3-4 Fresh Basil Leaves – cut into ribbons


1/4 Cup extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
Pinch Cracked Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dried Italian Seasoning
1 Garlic Clove – grated
1/2 teaspoon Sugar

Combine couscous, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
Mix dressing ingredients and toss couscous salad with dressing.
Refrigerate and serve.

This post is part of the Out Of The Kitchen Series. Find more great customer service experiences and personal touches that are part of the Bon Appetit Out Of The Kitchen Series.

Want to meet purveyors who are making a difference with their customers? Check out BonAppetit.com’s “Out of the Kitchen”, an ongoing exploration of the relationships that build and sustain the food industry. See how hyper-local food markets operate and how their focus on quality and service keep customers coming back for more.

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WonkyWonderful, Nicole Harris

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Nicole-Wonky-Wonderful-3 Hi There, I’m Nicole . . . Welcome to WonkyWonderful! I am a coffee-dependent busy Mom just trying to make good food and lifestyle choices while juggling whatever life throws my way. Being a mom, I know how difficult it can be to stick to a healthy eating plan while feeding a family on a hectic schedule. Whether you are following a Paleo, Whole30, Low Carb diet or just looking to eat healthier . . . I’m here to help you do it. You can depend on my quick, nutritious recipes that will make life easier and healthier.