Mediterranean Israeli Couscous Salad is filled with olives, capers, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and more!
This colorful salad is seriously my new addiction, and that’s totally okay because it’s super light and healthy.
(I guess I’m officially back in southern California mode because I just used the words seriously, totally, and super in one sentence without even realizing it. Wow.)
Anyway… the dressing! The dressing in this salad is simply olive oil, lemon juice, and a minced shallot. But – true story – although the dressing tasted perfect in a separate bowl, once I tossed it with my salad, it wasn’t perfect anymore. The flavors of my herbs, tomatoes, and especially my olives, completely overpowered the flavor of the dressing. I had to add more lemon juice to my salad to get it tasting perfect again.
Today’s cooking tip is to simply taste your food. Especially with a salad recipe, you can adjust a dressing or even the ingredients within the salad to suit your taste buds’ preferences. For example, I used kalamata olives here and they had such a strong flavor that I needed more lemon juice to balance them. But if I had used black olives, I would’ve needed less lemon juice to do the job.
When you’re making this salad, feel free to remove ingredients you don’t like, or substitute ingredients. I’ve listed exactly what I did here, but even if you change a lot of it, it’ll likely still be delicious. That’s the beauty of a salad recipe! On the other hand, if you decided to take my Strawberry Lemonade Bread and substitute baking powder with baking soda and used heavy cream instead of milk, we’d have a problem. And a mess.
In the meantime, I’m taking a mini-hiatus and I’ll see you all again on April 24th! I’ll be bringing you my annual Armenian recipe on that day. Last year’s recipe was my Grandma’s Armenian Hummus. And I can’t wait to show you all what Grandma and I have been cooking up this time.!
Happy couscous eating!
- 1 cup uncooked Israeli (pearl) couscous
- 2 tsp & 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ tsp lemon juice, plus more if needed
- 2 tsp minced shallot (from 1 shallot)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup sliced kalamata or black olives
- ½ cup tomatoes (I used heirloom cherry tomatoes)
- 2 tsp drained capers
- 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan (optional)
- Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a medium-large nonstick pan over high heat. Add the couscous and toss for 3-4 minutes, until lightly browned. Pour in 1¼ cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce to low. Cover until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Lightly fluff with a spoon. Rinse thoroughly with cold water, and drain well.
- Combine remaining 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, and shallot in small bowl. Add pinch of salt and pepper, plus more to taste.
- In large bowl, combine couscous, dressing, olives, tomatoes, capers, herbs, and parmesan. Add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, then serve.
This recipe goes great with Buttered Parmesan Crositini, or pita chips with Hummus!