This Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad is great for a summer lunch or a side dish for dinner. Although it doesn’t contain any meat, it can easily be turned into a light main course by adding grilled chicken.
What is couscous?
Couscous originates from the eastern world, particularly from the Algerian and Moroccan areas. It is typically made from granules of rolled durum wheat semolina flour. This recipe calls for pearl or Israeli couscous, which is much larger than regular couscous. It resembles a tiny round pasta making a great backdrop for a Greek salad.
- Vegetable broth: This broth is used to cook the pearl couscous to fluffy perfection while giving it some much needed flavor as well.
- Pearl couscous: Makes for a classic Greek salad that can be eaten by itself or enjoyed as a side to another meal.
- Cherry tomatoes: Add a burst of freshness to the salad. They are halved to create the perfect fork size.
- English cucumber: Smaller than the traditional cucumber, it is diced and mixed to provide a hearty crunch and flavor to the salad.
- Red onion: A must-have in any Mediterranean is red onion. In this case, it can be sliced thin or diced.
- Feta cheese: You can get a block of feta cheese or purchase it already crumbled. For this recipe, you’ll want to make sure it’s crumbled before mixing.
- Kalamata olives: Another couscous salad must-have is kalamata olives. They are on the bigger side and will need to be diced as well. Their flavor adds a nice touch to the palette.
- Seasonings: salt and black pepper are added to taste and provide a bit of extra flavor.
The homemade dressing takes just a few kitchen staple ingredients like olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and a few other staples. You can conveniently make it in a mason jar. Using a mason jar makes the dressing easy to make and will keep the dressing fresh much longer than other container options.
Instructions for the Best Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Step One – Once the pearl couscous has been cooked and cooled, add it and the diced cucumber, tomato, and olives to a large bowl.
Step Two – Top the salad with crumbled feta cheese and pour over the homemade salad dressing. Stir the salad until well blended, then refrigerate until cold.
Serving Suggestions for Mediterranean Pearl Couscous Salad
- As-is: Thanks to all of the ingredients it takes to make this salad, it can be served as a meal all on its own.
- Vegetarian Dinner: If you’re looking to create a yummy vegetarian dinner, consider serving this salad alongside roasted eggplant.
- Side Dish: This couscous salad works perfectly as a side dish, especially if you’ve cooked chicken or salmon as the main meat.
- Salad Topping: Consider adding a nice helping on top of a fresh green salad.
Although this salad has the perfect amount of flavor, you can enhance it a bit by adding extra vegetables like bell peppers (especially red bell pepper). Chickpeas and artichoke hearts also make great additions. And you can’t go wrong by topping it with herbs such as parsley and basil.
Add an additional taste of zest by squeezing lemon on top just before serving.
How do I store leftovers? Any leftovers of this salad can be added to an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator.
Since orzo and couscous are similar, can I make it with orzo? Yes! Orzo is a great substitution as well as farro. In some cases, pearl couscous may be difficult to find in grocery stores.Print
- 3 Cups Vegetable broth
- 2 Cups Pearl couscous
- 1 Cup Cherry tomatoes
- ½ English cucumber
- ½ Red onion, sliced thin or diced
- ½ Cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ Cup Kalamata olives
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ Cup Red wine vinegar
- ½ Cup Olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Bring 3 cups of Vegetable broth to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.
Add the couscous, lower the heat and simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed the broth and is fluffy.
Drain and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes, cucumber and onion and olives and place in a large bowl.
Add the Feta cheese and the couscous to the bowl.
Add all of the dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake vigorously.
Pour over the salad and stir to combine.
Refrigerate until cold.
WHAT TO PAIR WITH THIS:
- The salad can be kept up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Do not freeze.
- Israeli couscous is made up of small, round granules that are a bit like pasta. 2-3 times larger than couscous. Pearl, or Israeli, couscous is roasted rather than dried, giving it a wonderful flavor and a chewy texture.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 15 min