Colorful Couscous Salad (and it's gluten-free!)

January  5, 2010
11 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4 as a side dish
Author Notes

Perfumed with fresh basil and parsley, this jeweled couscous has drops of sweetness from the prunes, apricots and caramelized onions. The toasted pine nuts and chick peas also give it a nice earthy flavor. I serve it cold or room temperature as a side salad, and it’s even better the next day. Enjoy!

Note: I recently learned I had to go gluten-free and assumed that couscous wouldn’t be allowed in my new diet. After a little research, I found out I was wrong! This couscous is made from brown rice and is the perfect wheat-free alternative, but you can also substitute with regular couscous.
SunnySideUp (lesley829)

What You'll Need
  • Caramelized onions
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Couscous salad
  • 1/2 cup Lundberg roasted brown rice couscous
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked chick peas, drained (canned is fine)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup dried prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. Caramelized onions
  2. Heat the oil over medium heat, and add the onions, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the vinegar, making sure all of the onions are coated with it.
  4. Cook until the onions are a rich caramel color, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool.
  1. Couscous salad
  2. Bring chicken stock to a boil.
  3. Add couscous, cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes or less.
  4. Remove from heat and keep lid on for five minutes.
  5. Fluff with fork and spoon into larger mixing bowl. Cool completely.
  6. While cooling, make dressing by whisking together the oil, vinegar, agave, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Set aside for later.
  7. Once the couscous has cooled, gently fold in the remaining ingredients and mix in the dressing.
  8. Serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Alvina Chowdhury
    Alvina Chowdhury
  • gingerroot
  • SunnySideUp (lesley829)
    SunnySideUp (lesley829)
  • wanderash

6 Reviews

Alvina C. October 15, 2020
How can it be gluten free? Is has couscous in it, which is not gluten free. Kindly research your ingredients, specially if you are putting them in the title and writing false description for them. Otherwise, a great recipe.
SunnySideUp (. October 15, 2020
it's brown rice couscous.
gigi05829 January 19, 2013
Hi, Just joined. Want to save this recipe. Is there a folder I can save it to?
gingerroot November 16, 2010
This looks delicious. Thanks for the brown rice couscous tip - I will have to look for it at WF. My husband is gf and I am always looking for alternatives (although love quinoa).
SunnySideUp (. January 7, 2010
i asked my friends and they didn't think it tasted any different from regular couscous. i haven't been able to find any other brands yet, but this one was good. they have boxes with seasoning too but i bought the plain. thanks for the comment - i am such a fan of your recipes and just sent the bark to my friend who isn't on the site!
wanderash January 7, 2010
neat factoid on the gluten-free tip! i usually make couscous type salads with quinoa, but I will look out for this kind as well.