Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
This Mediterranean couscous salad is inspired by the flavors of Sicily – with lemon, fresh mint and basil, sweet-tart cranberries and crunchy almonds, it’s a lot of bright flavor and satisfying texture. While couscous isn’t thought of as Italian, it’s actually made of Semolina flour and is technically a pasta! You can substitute any small pasta like orzo, or even fregola for an extra toasty, delicious flavor.
This is a great simple side dish to serve up with company, or a prep-ahead lunch. Add chicken or seafood for protein!
Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 1/4 cup
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 1-pound box Israeli couscous, fregola, or orzo
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
- In a medium saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the couscous and cook until toasted and lightly browned, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Carefully add the stock, and the juice of 1 lemon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the couscous is tender, but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the couscous.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked couscous with the remaining olive oil, remaining lemon juice, zest, salt, and pepper and let cool.
- Once the couscous is room temperature, add the fresh herbs, dried cranberries, and almonds. Toss to combine and serve.