Super Simple Israeli Couscous Salad

I was so excited to find Israeli Couscous in the bulk food bins at our local supermarket and although I was intending to make a hot, risotto style dish, I ended up making a very simple and tasty salad instead. I have eaten Israeli or Pearl couscous at restaurants before but, never had the chance to cook it at home, so I decided to first recreate a simple dish I have tried at a lovely local Café.

Café Gusto, a great little local eatery with a good range of vegetarian friendly foods, prepare a really tasty Israeli Couscous salad that they serve with little falafel balls and it is my favourite dish on their menu. With left over falafel in the fridge I couldn’t help but make a light Israeli couscous salad to accompany them. The beautiful texture of Israeli couscous works wonderfully in salads with crisp ingredients and a light dressing.

I made up a Moroccan spiced stock to cook the couscous in for added flavour and zing. Try using your favourite salad ingredients and serve topped with falafel or simply with a dollop of hummus. Perfect for a light evening meal, healthy lunchbox food or hearty side salad, this simple vegan recipe is oh so healthy and very tasty, Enjoy!

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Super Simple Israeli Couscous Salad

Preparation time: 30mins // Serves 4-6

Moroccan Spiced Stock

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Israeli Couscous Salad

  • 2½ cups Israeli (Pearl) Couscous
  • 3 cups Moroccan spiced stock
  • ½ lemon, zest
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 250g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 orange or yellow capsicum (pepper), diced
  • 2 celery sticks, diced
  • 1 fresh chilli, diced
  • 2 cups baby salad leaves (like baby spinach, rocket or cos)

Herb Dressing

  • 2 tbs fresh herbs (like parsley, mint or coriander), finely chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ground sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

To make the stock gently simmer all ingredients in a large pot for 10 minutes or until liquid has reduced by about 1 cup and the slices of lemon have broken down. Remove lemon rinds and cinnamon stick.

To cook the couscous bring the stock to the boil in a good sized saucepan, add the couscous in a gradual stream and stir and simmer gently over a low-medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a further 10 minutes with the lid on.

Transfer the cooked couscous to a large salad or mixing bowl, stir through the lemon zest and the tablespoon of olive oil and allow to cool completely.

To make the herb dressing add all ingredients in a screw top jar and shake until combined.

To make the salad combine the fresh ingredients with the couscous and dressing, toss until well combined. Check seasoning.

Serve with lemon wedges, a good dollop of hummus and falafel (recipe found here) if you like for a super tasty, light and healthy lunch or dinner. Or serve as a great hearty side salad when entertaining!

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