lunchbox quick + easy salad side dish summer vegan

Super Simple Israeli Couscous Salad

September 24, 2010

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!


Super Simple Israeli Couscous Salad

Preparation time: 30mins // Serves 4-6

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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!

Israeli Couscous Salad

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  • JL Goes Vegan September 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

    What a lovely salad. I love Israeli couscous and have not had in quite some time. I need to make this!

  • Emm September 24, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Hi there, I’ve just come across your site. Lovely blog you have here. So nice to be connecting with fellow NZ food bloggers :-)

  • Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets September 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    I so love light, healthy, and interesting meals like this. Been dying to try Israeli couscous too.

  • delicieux September 27, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    I love Israeli couscous, whilst difficult to find, it is worth it. I love how you used it in this salad. It looks so delicious, healthy and satisfying. Perfect for the upcoming summer. I’ll be bookmarking this :)

  • Trudy (veggie num num) September 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Thanks for the lovely comments all :)

  • Ric September 28, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I’m a big fan of couscous, but for some reason I’ve never tried Israeli couscous. But this recipe has inspired me to give it a go.

    By the way, I’m really impressed with the recipes on your site. I’m not a vegetarian, but I eat a mainly plant-based diet, so I think I’ll be dropping by here often. :)

    It also made me smile to read your About page. My partner is also called Trudy, she’s also Australian, and she also lives in New Zealand. It’s a small world isn’t it?

  • Trudy (veggie num num) September 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Hi there Ric! Thanks for your kind words, just checked out your site, what a great resource for healthy eating and living! So glad you like the recipes here on Veggie num num! and, ah, wow what a crazy coincidence… it sure is a small world :)

  • jd October 7, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Ohhh does that salad look good! I love that touch of hummus on top, too – what a delicious idea!

  • Trudy (veggie num num) October 8, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Hi jd, thanks, it is a really nice simple salad and the hummus goes perfect, although I tend to eat hummus with almost anything :)