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Cous Cous Salad
This refreshing salad pairs beautifully alongside grilled meats, fish, and vegetables. This salad can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature, which makes it a great option when entertaining.
- ¾ cup Israeli couscous (or other pearled couscous)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups water
- 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 15 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- ¼ cup ricotta salata, crumbled
- 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
Boil 2 cups of water over high heat. Meanwhile, sauté the cous cous in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the boiling water to the pot and bring the couscous to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat until the water is fully absorbed, about 12 minutes.
Prep the vegetables and crumble the cheese while the couscous is cooking and add them to a large mixing bowl. When the couscous is done, transfer it to the bowl and toss everything together. Dress the salad with the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refidgerate it in an air-tight container.
Cook Israeli couscous according to package directions toss with 2 Tbsp. oil. Meanwhile, prepare grilled tomatoes.
Brush radicchio with oil grill over high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred, 5–8 minutes. Let cool coarsely chop. Toss with tomatoes, onion, and couscous season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with ricotta, almonds, and parsley and oregano leaves.
How would you rate Israeli Couscous and Tomato Salad?
This recipe is so good! I sub all kinds of nuts and it always comes out great!
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Israeli Couscous Salad with Beet and Feta
We all need a back pocket kind of side dish that we can whip up when dinner becomes an afterthought. And when that side dish looks (and tastes!) as fun and festive as this Israeli Couscous Salad, no one will guess how easy it was to make. Just roast some beets, stir them together with Israeli (a.k.a. Pearl) Couscous, and toss with lemon juice and feta cheese!
We’re making this couscous salad with a particularly fun variety of couscous. It’s called “pearl” or “Israeli” couscous, defined by its larger size and slightly chewy texture. It’s made from semolina or wheat flour, making for a slightly neutral taste (a bit like pasta) until you flavor it up with sauce or other ingredients.
And when you mix it with roasted beets, it becomes a vibrant pink color that instantly brightens up the dinner table! We’ll throw in a touch of lemon juice and feta cheese to offset the distinct beet flavor, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve!
Cook the Israeli couscous according to package directions. My favourite way is toasting the couscous for a couple of minutes, then cooking it like risotto for about 8-10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse it with cold water and drain well.
Open your can of chickpeas and jars of peppers, sundried tomatoes and olives (yes, all you have to do is opening a few jars, easy peasy!)
Make the lemon, garlic, oregano and parsley dressing.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing, then toss until combined.
Place the couscous salad with chickpeas and olives into the meal prep containers.
Get plenty of vitamin and nutrients adding raw vegetables, fruits, nuts and a lemon wedge on the side. Done.
Healthy Greek Salad with Israeli Couscous
Now I don&rsquot know about you but I like my salads chunky.
Forget about finely dicing the ingredients here, with this recipe just cut it up into big irregular chunks of goodness.
Fill your bowl with crisp chunks of juicy cucumber and bulky wedges of soft, fleshy tomato.
Then throw in cubes of soft and salty feta with lots of dark, meaty kalamata olives.
Now add the thinly sliced pieces of red onion, this is the only ingredient that I don&rsquot like to be chunky in my recipe.
I mean I don&rsquot think anybody wants to bite into a huge chunk of raw onion&hellip unless you like that kinda thing?
Now for the final ingredient of this healthy recipe, cute pearls of Israeli couscous.
This is also known as Pearl or Jerusalem couscous and in Israel they call it Ptitim.
It is little balls of toasted pasta that kinda look like pearl-shaped rice.
It was developed in Israeli in the 1950s when rice was scarce and it is delicious and a much lighter way to eat pasta.
Finish this by tossing it all together with a drizzle of my healthy homemade tangy lemon vinaigrette.
And there you have it, a quick and easy healthy vegetarian Greek salad, that is light and refreshing and perfect for those hot summer nights where cooking&rsquos a chore.
Recipe Inspiration: Pearl (Israeli) Couscous Salads
We’ve been semi-obsessed with pearl couscous it’s so attractive in early summer. It feels lighter than pasta, yet more substantial than traditional couscous, and it’s the perfect base for one-dish meals that involve fresh summer herbs and vegetables. Here’s one quick couscous dish we put together last week, plus ideas for several more.
Hot or cold, warm or leftover, this deliciously chewy little pasta has been a total favorite. It doesn’t get gummy or too soft, and it holds up well in the fridge. We made three (three!) couscous side dishes last week: one, pictured above, with slivered almonds, mint, steamed peas, and goat cheese.
We made another later that week that was similar, but without the peas and with ricotta salata and some extra herbs. Then came yet another, with over a cup of creamy goat cheese smeared into it, and zest from a few lemons. Delicious, and easy! Sara Kate also made a wonderful big dish of this at our editors’ retreat she mixed in roasted beets and sweet potatoes.
The hard part is often just finding these little pearls. We got extra-big ones at a local Mediterranean grocery. You can also find it at Trader Joe’s, alone and in their Harvest Grains Blend.
Israeli couscous salad
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- 3 garlic cloves
- 60 g extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to taste
- 50 g red onion, cut into halves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- &frac18 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest, no white pith
- 40 g lemon juice, plus extra to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh mint, leaves only, torn into pieces
- 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, torn into pieces
- 3 sprigs fresh basil, leaves only, torn into pieces
- 800 g water
- 200 g Israeli couscous, rinsed and drained (also known as pearl couscous)
- 200 g red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 200 g broccoli, broken into florets (2 cm)
- 200 g cauliflower, broken into florets (2 cm)
- 250 g cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
- 100 g pitted Kalamata olives, cut into halves
- 30 g pine nuts
- 40 g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts
- 40 g slivered almonds
- 1 - 2 pinches sea salt, to taste
- 1 - 2 pinches ground black pepper, to taste
Israeli Couscous with Pickled Shallots, Peas, Mint and Ricotta Salata
I have never understood the appeal of traditional couscous. It simply does not have enough texture or heft for me. Even when steamed and fluffed properly, so that the grains stay separate, it fails to satisfy me. I like my carbs with a bit of bite to them. Israeli couscous is more my jam. It is dense with a bouncy, chewy texture. I had always assumed that Israeli couscous was just bigger balls of regular couscous. I only recently learned the true difference.
Traditional couscous is actually tiny ground pasta made from semolina flour. It is made by rubbing semolina between wet hands until teeny-tiny balls are formed. The couscous is then dried and steamed. Israeli couscous is also made from semolina flour, but the similarities end there. Israeli couscous is made by mixing semolina flour with water, into a dough. The dough is then machine extruded through a round mould, about 1 millimetre in size. These tiny pearls are then toasted dry, which adds a nutty flavour.
Traditional couscous has been around, some believe, since the 9th century, but Israeli couscous is just a baby. It only came into existence in the 1950’s. Following the War of Independence in 1948, many immigrants arrived in the newly formed country from all over the Middle East. Most of them relied on rice as a staple in their cuisine, but there were rice shortages. Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, asked the Osem food company to develop something that they could substitute for their beloved rice. They created “Ptitim“. It was nicknamed Ben Gurion rice, since it was originally extruded in the shape of rice grains. They later introduced a round version which they called Israeli couscous.
This delicious salad is my adaptation of a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. I have only made a slight change. I substituted ricotta salata for the feta cheese they suggested. I prefer the drier texture and less salty taste of ricotta salata. Many Italian grocers carry it. Feel free to use feta if you like, or even some crumbled goat cheese, if that’s your thing.
Begin with pickling the shallots. Nothing too complicated here. You will need red wine vinegar, sugar, a pinch of salt and some thinly sliced shallots. Simmer vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. Add shallots, turn off heat, cover pot and let macerate for 30 minutes. That’s it. I always thought pickling was so complicated. To properly cook Israeli couscous, begin by sauteeing in a bit of olive oil until about half the grains turn brown. Then add water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 12 minutes. The ratio of Israeli couscous to water is 1:1.25. (For every cup of couscous, add 1¼ cups water)Once cooked, spread couscous out on a baking sheet to allow it to cool before tossing with other salad ingredients. Prepare the dressing. The mild flavour of couscous can stand up to a bracing dressing of Dijon, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and olive oil.Then it’s simply a matter of assembly. I thawed some green peas (no cooking necessary), drained the pickled shallots, washed some baby arugula and mint, toasted and chopped pistachios and diced up the cheese. Sugar snap peas or asparagus would also be excellent friends with this salad. I loved the combination of all these ingredients. Chewy, nutty couscous, bitter arugula, sweet mint, crunchy pistachios, salty cheese and the zingy pickled shallots. Each bite had me craving more.
What ingredients do you add to couscous salad?
To infuse Mediterranean flavors, I add a hearty amount of red bell pepper, red onion, cucumbers, ripe tomatoes, kalamata olives, and feta cheese. Freshly chopped herbs like mint, basil, and parsley add fragrant aromas, while dried oregano adds an earthy taste. Garbanzo beans or chickpeas add a source of vegetarian protein and creaminess.