Cooking for your Health: Greek Couscous Salad

For the latest installment of Cooking for your Health, which nicely coincides with the Meatless Monday initiative, I present you with this recipe for Greek Couscous Salad. It’s still winter in this part of the world, although the weather is behaving more like spring. Hefty winter salads are a healthy, satisfying and an economical way to get our daily dose of vitamins and nutrients during the cold season, while providing light yet substantial sustenance. This recipe looks to the Greek salad for inspiration. Chopped cucumber, onion, sweet peppers and fresh herbs, rich in Vitamins A and C, are tumbled with whole wheat couscous and protein-rich chickpeas, then topped with a sprinkling of feta cheese. Boosted with lemon, garlic and cayenne, this salad is at once healthy and ridiculously good. I like to serve it simply as-is or scooped into pita bread with a dollop of tsatsiki and harissa. Healthy and meatless don’t get better than this.

Greek Couscous Salad

This salad is very forgiving in its ingredients. The couscous may be substituted with another favorite grain such as farro or quinoa. Feel free to add more or less of the vegetables to the couscous to your taste. The important thing is to have a variety of texture and lots of crunch. Serves 4 to 6.

1 1/4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced, cut in 1/4 inch dice
1/2 small English cucumber, seeded, cut in 1/4 inch dice, about 1 cup
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
1 small red jalapeno or Fresno pepper, seeded, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 – 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Black olives (kalamata, oil-cured or niçoise) for garnish

Bring water, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous and lemon juice. Cover and let sit until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and transfer the couscous to a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Gently mix to thoroughly combine. Taste for salt and seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature garnished with olives.

25 responses to “Cooking for your Health: Greek Couscous Salad

  1. How about whole wheat couscous or Israeli? Love this.

  2. Delicious! This is the kind of salad I could eat on a daily basis.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Beautiful! We make something similar with orzo. These ingredients pair so wonderfully together.

  4. That is a perfect salad. In fact it is a meal all in itself! I had forgotton about couscous in salads. this was a very pretty reminder! Thank you.. c

  5. This is my favorite type of meal for lunch, both on weekdays and weekends. Like Greg, I also use orzo sometimes in place of couscous, not sure how they would compare in terms of calories, maybe not too far off.

    And, a big batch can last for three days, making it even better! ;-)

  6. Such a beautiful and healthy dish! I love all of these ingredients- would like to try this with some good tsatsiki. By the way, I love the serving bowl in your photo!

  7. I am totally making this. It looks so refreshing wonderful. And such a beautiful dish to boot!

  8. I have to admit that I love anything with feta. This is great to have around to munch on.

  9. What a delicious and colorful salad!! This looks like a great luncheon salad for one of my catering events!

  10. The salad looks wonderful!! Love the serving dish.

  11. Your salad sounds delicious and will be wonderful with grilled chicken this summer.

  12. Sounds delicious – I love all of these flavors and Greek food in general!

  13. I adore Greek anything so I would love this salad, Lynda! It looks so colorful and flavorful, and very simple to put together.

  14. Looks delicius! I love Greek flavors.

  15. i’m sorry but …how many grams are 3/4 pound of semisweet chocolate?thank you so much :-)

  16. This looks gorgeous, and so flippin’ healthy it should be illegal. I want to pick some of that feta off right now for a little snack.

  17. the grill was Awesome you can check it out here if you want.

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  19. Perfect! I invited some friends here for lunch but hadn’t decided what to serve. This fits the bill beautifully.

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