Summer Squash Couscous with Sultanas, Pistachios and Mint

June 30, 2010
9 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I was in the mood for a light couscous salad, and the subsequent ingredients just felt right. I used squash and zucchini to incorporate some more color, but if you have a penchant for one over the other, knock yourself out! You could also try substituting the lemon juice with grapefruit or lime juice -- I just used lemon because I always have a surplus in my house. - The Internet Cooking Princess —theicp

Test Kitchen Notes

This dish is supposed to serve four, but we wouldn't be above polishing off the entire thing among just the two of us. It's well-balanced, with tart, sweet and savory playing off each other with every bite -- not to mention the fact that it's beautiful to look at, studded with brightly colored chunks of squash, golden sultanas and green flecks of mint. The Internet Cooking Princess recommends serving the couscous at room temperature, but we think it's great hot, cold and all temperatures in between. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cups veggie stock
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow squash
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sultanas/golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic cloves and let them steep for about 30 minutes.
  2. Next, bring the veggie stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover, and turn off the heat; allow the couscous to sit for about 5 minutes, or until it absorbs all the liquid. Toss the couscous with a fork so the grains don't start clumping together, pour into a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
  3. In a skillet over medium high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Then, add the chopped squash and zucchini, shallot, sultanas, pistachios and a pinch or two of salt. Only cook for about a minute or two -- you still want the squash and zucchini to be al dente. This just ensures they aren't too al dente, and all the flavors can marry before they hit the couscous. Set aside until everything reaches room temperature.
  4. Once the veggies have reached room temperature, add them to the bowl with the couscous and combine.
  5. Then, remove and discard the cloves of garlic from the dressing, and toss it with the couscous (add the dressing gradually, as you may not need it all). Fold in the mint, season with additional salt and pepper if necessary and serve at room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • Emily Love
    Emily Love
  • dani
  • Miche
  • Virginia Martin
    Virginia Martin

92 Reviews

Cheryl June 14, 2020
What makes this so delicious? Surely a big part is the dressing (I used more lemon juice and zest)! Made it vegan with agave instead of honey, easily tripled the squash and used a small onion instead of shallot, which I cooked a little before adding the squash. Used about 3T of mint and could have done more. Thank you!
kara September 11, 2018
the flavors of this are excellent. I used Israeli couscous instead of regular fine couscous with outstanding results (cooked to package directions for the couscous of course.) Leftovers are wonderful mixed into salad greens the next day. I will definitely make this again before summer is over since the zucchini plant is still going strong in our garden here.
ghainskom August 8, 2017
No sad desk lunch. Nothing to change to this recipe!
ENEB August 1, 2017
This was fantastic! I enjoyed making it and enjoyed eating it even more!
Emily L. June 17, 2017
This is indeed a wonderful versatile recipe. I doubled the amount of squash/zucchini, used a brown rice mix I had on hand, and subbed dried cranberries for sultanas. It turned out great and I would definitely make it again!
A F. August 5, 2016
This is a great and versatile recipe! One of the best ways I have found to truly enjoy zucchini. I used ingredients that I had on hand (Farro for the couscous, pecans for the pistachios and raisins for the sultanas). I would make it again the same way- it was so delicious! The mint is a must, it really makes this dish. I also made this recipe with quinoa, toasted chopped almonds and raisins to bring and event for a GF option. Just as yummy!

Thank you for this recipe!
Pittsburgher January 26, 2015
Made this tonight, subbed dried apricots for the sultanas with delicious results. A nice weeknight winter salad! Leftovers for breakfast tomorrow with blueberries & kefir...
dani October 4, 2014
This is one of our favorite meals. I make it often. Thanks for sharing.
Miche July 22, 2014
It liked it with currants substituted for the sultanas.
Virginia M. July 21, 2014
I just made this tonight to eat with lamb burgers and it was really delicious. It is a great way to use up summer squash, especially if summer squash isn't your favorite abundant vegetable. Next time I'll probably use fewer sultanas as I found their sweetness to be a little overpowering of the other flavors in the dish, but even as I made it it was extremely good and I would highly recommend it.
melissa July 7, 2014
I've been looking for a an isreali couscous salad with golden raisins recipe like this for forever! I tried it at restaurants but could never find a recipe... So good - holds up nicely for leftovers too. I made this for a potluck and got so many compliments.
Dc May 11, 2014
So glad this showed up on a Zgoogle search for summer squash recipes. Doubled the recipe, used all summer squash plus a chopped onion, and walnuts instead of pistachios, oh and no raisins (couldn't get to the store). Really good. Next time I promise to follow the recipe!
luvcookbooks November 7, 2013
Just made this for dinner with quinoa instead of couscous-- delicious!
Tamara H. September 7, 2013
I just made this and it was so delicious! We only had Israeli couscous, so I used that instead, it was amazing!
OldGrayMare August 15, 2013
Probably my favorite recipe ever! And for my husband, who needs to have minimal gluten....it works fine with rice instead of the couscous.
ortolan July 29, 2013
Incredibly delicious. A winner.
ktmckinsey July 24, 2013
I am absolutely in love with this dish. I've made it three times in the past couple weeks. It's pretty yummy the next day for lunch, especially when served over a spinach salad. Yum!
magdalena July 3, 2013
I love this dish! I made a few changes to work with what I had on hand: instead of golden raisins, I used chopped dried apricots, and instead of yellow squash, I used chopped green cabbage. The lemon drizzle at the end was AMAZING! Most definitely a keeper!
Liz H. June 6, 2013
AMAZING. Eating it right now, SO GOOD. Can't get over how delicious this is. Made with almonds instead of pistachios since that's what I had.

Re: unsalted pistachios. Trader Joe's has unsalted, shelled, chopped pistachios.

Anyone know of a bean or other vegetarian protein source that I could add to this to increase the protein for my vegetarian sister? Thank you!
Kris L. July 18, 2013
I would think that garbanzo beans (chickpeas) would make a nice protein addition.
Kathy R. May 14, 2013
I made this last night and thought it was really good. I didn't have any couscous so I used 1/2 cup quinoa cooked in 1 cup of water with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Maybe a bit more squash since I used one medium yellow squash and one medium zucchini. I think any of the grains that people mentioned would be fine.