Should Israeli couscous sit overnight in a vinagrette?

I am making an Israeli couscous pasta salad with tomatoes, cucumber, mint, parsley, feta, arugula, lemon juice, and white balsamic vinegar. Right now the couscous is cooked and spread on a pan, while all the other ingredients are mixed in a bowl in the fridge because I wanted the veggies to soak up some of the balsamic flavor and marinate overnight. Ideally the couscous would also marinate with everything, but I am concerned it will go from al dente to mushy by tomorrow afternoon. Should I refrigerate the couscous separately in the pan and mix it with everything tomorrow morning? Or can I mix it now and let it marinate overnight without it getting soggy? Thank you!

sarah levy


sdebrango September 19, 2015
Actually I make an Israeli cous cous salad just about every week with almost the same list of ingredients, subbing lemon for the vinegar. I cook the cous cous al dente, it still has a significant bite and I let it sit over night in the dressing, I don't add the tomatoes or feta until ready to serve. The cous cous soaks up the dressing and it's wonderful, not mushy or over done. I agree with Kristen also that it's not necessary but I have had great results letting it sit. You just have to make sure your cous cous is al dente. Before I serve I squeeze on more lemon, add some toasted pine nuts and the fresh tomato and cheese. I think either way would work though.
sdebrango September 19, 2015
Oh also I don't add the cucumber and when I refresh before serving I add some more fresh herbs.
Kristen W. September 19, 2015
It's too late since the couscous is already cooked, but next time I would cook it in stock (if you didn't already) to give it more intense flavor without having to dress it so far in advance that it will absorb all the dressing. In any case, I wouldn't dress the couscous that far ahead. It will still have lots of flavor if it's dressed last minute in a bright vinaigrette.
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