Serves a Crowd

Radish Couscous

May 18, 2012
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes 4 starter portions
Author Notes

This recipe is my attempt to marry lovely spring vegetables with a side dish more interesting than plain vegetable + starch. I think it works well next to chicken or fish, but it also makes a winning lunch all on its own. —Cristina Sciarra

Test Kitchen Notes

Lovely, fresh, delicious, and quick. The dark arugula, edamame, and spring greens mix prettily on my white salad plate beside the magenta radishes, and glistening little pearls of couscous. Each bite has bounce, crunch, and creaminess, and is mixed with flavors that nicely balance between savory, sweet, bitter, spicy, and cucumber cool. The addition of avocado oil adds a pleasant depth to the dressing without tilting its volume a bit. This salad can be made in less than 30 minutes, and would be perfect for a light weeknight dinner – perhaps paired with a slightly chilled glass of French rosé. —Jennifer Ann

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 2 cups chicken stock (homemade if you have it)
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 5 tablespoons avocado oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • 1 small bunch radishes
  • 1 kirby cucumber
  • 1 small serrano chili
  • 3 scallions
  • 2 handfuls arugula
  1. If you can make the couscous a little ahead, great, because you don't want it to be super hot when you toss it with the salad. (Otherwise, do what I did and throw it into the fridge for 20 minutes.) I like to cook the couscous with chicken stock, instead of water. Add a little salt and pepper.
  2. Make the dressing: Spoon the avocado into a small bowl. Using a fork, give it a good smooshing, until the avocado is mashed. Add the lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper. Pour the oil in a thin stream, whisking as you go, until the dressing is creamy. Taste to make sure the salt and pepper ratio is working.
  3. Wash and cut the ends off the radishes. For this salad, I like to cut the radishes into kind of chunky pieces, so you really taste it when you take a bite. Wash the cucumber, and cut it similarly.
  4. The chili and the scallions should be cut more thinly than the radish and cucumber. Wash the chili and cut it in half lengthwise. Deseed it, and then cut each half crosswise. Wash the scallions, and cut the white parts crosswise.
  5. Toss the couscous, the edamame, the radishes, the cucumber, the chili, the scallions and the arugula together in a large bowl. Add the dressing, and toss until everything is evenly coated.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Anabel
  • Lisako
  • WildRiceLLC
  • QueenSashy
  • Jennifer Ann
    Jennifer Ann
Cristina is a writer, cook, and day job real estate developer. She studied literature, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing, and completed the Basic Cuisine course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She lives in Jersey City with her husband--a Frenchman she met in Spain--and their sweet black cat, Minou. Follow her writings, recipes, publications and photography at

17 Reviews

caninechef June 12, 2017
I am glad to see this featured in an article. I found this recipe about a month ago and have eaten more radishes since then than in the previous 5 years. I have made it several times for lunch without avocado but will try it soon in a more complete version.
Cristina S. June 12, 2017
I'm so glad you like the salad!
Anabel June 30, 2015
This salad is so good! Thanks for the great recipe.
Daryl G. June 24, 2015
I have made this a few hours before serving. I just add the dressing at the last minute. The lemon juice seems to keep the avocado from turning brown for a short time.
Anabel June 25, 2015
Anabel June 24, 2015
Would it be possible to make this ahead of time to take to work as lunch? Do you think the avocado dressing would get brown and weird? Thanks!
Lisako June 10, 2015
I finally got around to making this, topped with shrimp for dinner, and it was awesome! I did tweak a little bit, but the results were outstanding. I used whole wheat cous cous, which gave the salad a delicious nutty quality. I used a little less avocado oil for the dressing, and thinned it out with a splash of water-- it came out perfectly. Finally, I was disappointed to see the serrano pepper I had in my fridge had shriveled, so I compensated by adding a heavy amount of red pepper flake to the shrimp on top. I threw in some farmer's market snow peas at the last minute, which gave a great crunch. Fantastic meal that I'll make over and over!
WildRiceLLC June 9, 2015
This salad is delicious. It was a wonderful way to use up the beautiful icicle radishes I had. The dressing is very good on its own as well. I didn't have the avocado oil on hand so I used 3 tablespoons of EVOO and 2 tablespoons of water and it came out just fine.
Lisako April 30, 2015
Cristina, do you think I could use spinach instead of arugula? I have everything else in the fridge and want to serve this with shrimp or halibut tonight. Maybe just add extra black pepper?
girlwithaknife June 29, 2014
A *lovely* last taste of spring. I made the avocado dressing in my food processor - took 5 seconds. Literally. Glad I got the Israeli couscous - lovely al dente texture, just enough heft added to the salad to make it a meal. We added sliced boiled egg left over from another salad - even better!
Cristina S. June 30, 2014
Sounds great!
QueenSashy March 20, 2013
what a wonderful spring welcome. instant save
Cristina S. March 20, 2013
Thanks, QueenSashy!
Daryl G. December 2, 2012
I received my CSA box and was overrun with radishes. Found this recipe and I loved it. The flavors were outstanding together. Will definitely make this again.
Cristina S. December 4, 2012
I'm so glad you liked it, Daryl!
Jennifer A. June 7, 2012
I made this salad for a special luncheon, and everyone loved it! It will definitely see a lot of 'plate time' in my house this summer. Thanks for such a great recipe.
Cristina S. June 7, 2012
I'm so glad you like it! As a side note, my sister is also named Jennifer Ann (without an "e")!