Fourth of July

Pearl Couscous Salad with Tomatoes, Peppers, Mint and Cilantro

January  4, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Pearl Couscous is not the traditional couscous associated with North African cuisine. North African Couscous is a Berber preparation that consists of very small granules of semolina wheat which are coated in wheat flour. Pearl Couscous, also known as Israeli Couscous, is made of baked wheat rather than semolina, and is similar to pasta. Its granules are much larger in size and maintain their individual texture and firmness without sticking, which makes pearl couscous a great candidate for salads and a substitute for orzo or rice. Pearl couscous can be toasted before simmering in liquid, which will impart a lovely golden hue and a toasted flavor that will hold up against spices and herbs, which is why I love to use it frequently. In this recipe, the grains are toasted and tumbled together with fresh leaves of coriander, parsley and mint and a mixture of sweet and spicy peppers. The result is a satisfying salad, with elements of tabboule and salsa, that can stand alone or accompany grilled meat, fish or chicken. If you prefer a vegetarian option, substitute the chicken stock with water and crumble feta cheese over the salad before serving. —TasteFood

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 4 green onions, ends trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced.
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1 small serrano pepper, seeded, ribs removed, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (quartered if large)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add couscous and cook, stirring, until grains are golden brown, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender but firm, 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer couscous to a large bowl, fluffing with a fork. Stir in one tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Once couscous has cooled, add remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Note: If your are preparing salad in advance, do not add the parsley, mint or cilantro. Add before serving to prevent wilting.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Patric Moberger
    Patric Moberger
  • TasteFood
  • Oui, Chef
    Oui, Chef
  • SunnySideUp (lesley829)
    SunnySideUp (lesley829)
  • Food Blogga
    Food Blogga

6 Reviews

Patric M. May 5, 2020
Had this superb salad tonight with crumbed Calamari rings. Nice to add some preserved lemon in this recipe too.
Maria L. April 1, 2013
Looks like this Saturday night's dinner!
TasteFood January 8, 2010
Thank you everyone for your nice comments!
Oui, C. January 7, 2010
Yet another beautiful and thoughtful dish, thanks for posting it.
SunnySideUp (. January 5, 2010
this sounds delicious! thanks for sharing.
Food B. January 5, 2010
I actually prefer the texture of the pearl couscous, though sometimes it's hard to find. So when I do find it, I buy A LOT. I'll be trying this salad, for sure!