Pearls in Your Mouth: Mediterranean Couscous Salad

My Mediterranean Couscous Salad is a crowd pleaser!

When I first stared making it, with Israeli or pearl couscous, years ago it was very hard to find in the mainstream market. Now all you have to do is meander to the pasta and rice aisle and you’ll find it. You cook it just like pasta.  

Add a few fresh herbs and veggies along with some briny olives and tart vinaigrette, you’ll have yourself a super side dish. Here’s the recipe.


2 C pearl couscous (another name is Israeli Couscous)
¼ C chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ C chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ C chopped fresh basil leaves
½ C Calamata olives, pitted & sliced lengthwise
¼ C red bell pepper, minced
½ C green onion, thinly sliced
Zest of one medium lemon 


Bring one quart of water to a boil in a 3-quart, heavy saucepan.

Stir in couscous and simmer, uncovered, up to 10 minutes or until couscous is al dente (cooks just like pasta).

Drain couscous and transfer to medium bowl.

Pour ½ of vinaigrette (see recipe below) over warm couscous and stir to incorporate. Add parsley, mint, basil, bell pepper, olives, green onion and zest. Mix thoroughly.

Taste for flavor and texture. Add more vinaigrette if too dry. Add more salt and pepper for seasoning if necessary.

Serve. Yields 6-8 side servings. *Refrigerator storage for up to one week in a tightly sealed container.


1/4C fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ C extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

Place all ingredients into a container and tightly seal. Shake vigorously until all ingredients emulsify (combine).