This Israeli couscous salad with summer vegetables is an easy, flavorful dish with a mediterranean flair. It has sweet cherry tomatoes, cool cucumbers, crunchy red peppers, salty feta and olives. It’s tossed with a zesty red wine vinaigrette. The salad comes together quickly – you prep the veggies as the Israeli couscous is cooking – and your dish is ready in about 20 minutes.
Israeli couscous – also called pearl couscous – is larger and chewier than regular couscous. In fact, Israeli couscous is really pasta. It is a small, pearl shaped pasta that is toasted before cooking. Toasting the couscous gives it a lovely nutty flavor. I used Israeli couscous that I bought at Trader Joe’s.
A couple of notes:
I used to skip the step of toasting the couscous and that was a mistake. By toasting the Israeli couscous, you give it a light nutty flavor that really enhances the recipe.
After toasting the couscous, you are going to be adding water to the pan – it will boil/bubble right away since the pan is hot. Be careful because it may splash up and splashing hot water is not good.
Once you add the water to the pan, turn down the heat to low right away. If you cook the couscous on medium or high heat, the couscous will end up being struck to the bottom of the pan.
This Israeli couscous salad with summer vegetables refrigerates really well. Make a little extra so you can bring it to work for lunch the next day.
I like to soak the red onion in a little water before mincing. This reduces the raw onion taste. So slice off a piece of onion and add it to a small bowl of water before you start dicing your other vegetables.
|Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables|| |
- 1 cup of Israeli couscous
- 1 cup of water
- ½ veggie bouillon cube - roughly chopped up
- ¼ red bell pepper - finely diced
- ½ cucumber - peeled and seeded - finely diced
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes - sliced in half
- 2 tbs red onion - minced
- 1 handful of parsley - minced
- 10 olives - roughly chopped
- 2 oz of feta - diced
- 3 tbs olive oil plus 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey - a small squeeze
- 8 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill
- A pinch of salt
- Heat a sauce pan over medium heat and add one tsp of olive oil. Once the oil is warm - about 30 seconds - add Israeli couscous and stir for a minute or two until Israeli couscous is slightly toasted.
- When couscous is toasted - add 1 cup of water and chopped up bouillon cube. Be careful, the pan is hot and the water will probably instantly come to a boil, pour carefully so it doesn't splash up.
- Turn heat down to low and simmer couscous for the amount of time on package instructions.
- While couscous is cooking, dice red pepper and cucumber - you want the dice to be roughly the same size for both. Add to a large bowl.
- Next, slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to the other vegetables in the bowl.
- Mince parsley and red onion. Add to the vegetables in the bowl.
- Roughly chop olives and add to the bowl.
- Dice feta cheese and set a side.
- Whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, black pepper and salt together.
- When Israeli couscous is ready, add to a fine mesh sieve and rinse so that the couscous cools. Shake the fine mesh sieve thoroughly so that the couscous is fairly dry.
- Add Israeli couscous to the bowl of vegetables. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
- Add feta cheese to couscous and vegetables and toss gently to combine.