Pearl Couscous tossed with fresh veggies, refreshing mint, tangy feta and a splash of citrus. An exotic accompaniment to grilled meat or fish, or a delicious, light lunch eaten on it’s own. This salad is light and nutritious with full-bodied flavor.
A quick browse through the recipe section of Dishing Out Health makes it quite evident that I am fanatical over quinoa. I was *this* close to making this salad with quinoa as well until I saw how adorable this pearl couscous is (also known as Israeli couscous). As if I wasn’t sold on this grain based on the name alone (pearls > diamonds any day), it only takes a measly 10 minutes to cook. Pearl couscous is actually small balls of toasted semolina flour and it serves as an extremely versatile alternative to pasta or rice… or my beloved quinoa.
It’s evidently already summer here in Florida and BBQ-mode is in full-swing. I love serving a unique array of salads at cook-outs to appeal to all kinds of taste buds. It’s always nice to offer something a little lighter than the typical mayo-based pasta salad and this couscous is the perfect alternative.
It’s also very low maintenance in regards to prep work. You can whip it up the night before or hours before serving and it’s ready to when you are. It tastes awesome cold or room temp, as long as it has a few hours to sit in the refrigerator to let the flavors marry.
Make a big batch, stick it in the fridge, bring it to your next cook-out or pack it up for lunch during the work week.
Feta & Mint Couscous
- 2 cups dry pearl (or Israeli) couscous – I used Bob’s Red Mill
- 3/4 cup water for cooking
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth for cooking
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped mint
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Bring water and chicken broth to a boil in a 2 qt sauce pan. Add couscous, bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until couscous has absorbed all the liquid. Transfer to a large bowl to let cool.
- Add remaining ingredients – cucumber, tomato, lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, spices and cheese. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours prior to serving. Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Nutrition facts per serving (2/3 cup salad prepared)
Calories: 285; Total Fat: 6.5 gm; Saturated Fat: 1.5 gm; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 325 mg; Carbohydrates: 45 gm; Fiber: 1 gm; Sugar: 2 gm; Protein: 11 gm