I have no idea why I never used Israeli couscous sooner in life. It’s so awesome for salads, sides, light lunches or even light dinners. The grain is bigger than the typical couscous you might be used to seeing and is cooked a bit longer but it’s large enough for a toddler to enjoy (does this description even make sense?).
Ironically, the only other time I remember seeing this grain was when my family and I traveled to Israel 15 years ago. Yes, I know…Israel seems random but it was such an amazing once in a lifetime experience and I’m blessed my parents were able to share that with us. To say it was an interesting vacation is an understatement… I found out (in an unpleasant way) I actually have a bad allergic reaction to Sulfa (my sister is probably laughing hysterically as we speak and my poor mother probably wants to stroke my head for the suffering I went through)…I’ll explain another time.
Back to the salad! When summer rolls around, my husband and I have a tendency to gravitate towards Mediterranean flavors. I happen to love cucumbers and having them in the summer months is very refreshing. He doesn’t care too much for cucumbers but with the added lemon and feta, it grew on him.
This salad can be a meal on it’s own or a great side with any grilled protein!
You can make it the day before to make your life easier (I think it’s best cold) or same day.
- 2 cups Israeli couscous
- 1 medium cucumber
- ¼ cup of parsley (chopped finely)
- ¼ cup of mint (chopped finely)
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 3 green onions
- 3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the couscous and continue to let it boil for 10 minutes. Drain the couscous (make sure it doesn’t fall through the colander) Rinse briefly with cool water to cool off the couscous, then allow draining while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- Cut the cucumber in half (down the length) then once more on each half. You want to slice thin quarter rounds and place them in a large bowl (preferably the one you will serve the salad in)
- Dressing: In a small bowl combine, garlic powder, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and honey. Set aside (you could also make this while the couscous cooks just whisk it a bit before you pour it into the salad)
- Add the cooled couscous and crumbled feta to the cucumber bowl. Next add the parsley and mint. Add the dressing and gently stir to combine all of the ingredients. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (the feta can be salty enough). Chill for at least 2 hours. This tastes amazing the next day.
The salad is inviting, and will have them impressed 🙂