Arugula salad and pearl couscous recipe

This recipe for Pearl Couscous Salad with Arugula, often called Israeli Couscous Salad, is creamy, tangy, salty and so delicious! With lemon juice, fresh mint, lemon zest, yogurt and more! Pearl couscous is a larger version of traditional couscous with small pasta.

Obviously, this is different from a lot of classic couscous salad recipes. This recipe is much more like an arugula salad than a creamy couscous dressing. Which, I know, sounds weird, but I promise it’s delicious.

The fun thing is that you can add whatever you want to it! Red onion, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and fresh parsley would all be great additions!

Contents:

🎥 Watch the video of this recipe

🥣 Why you will love this pearl couscous salad:

  • Simple, fresh ingredients. These are all fresh and easy to find ingredients.
  • Unique and versatile dish. This dish is different from a normal Mediterranean couscous salad and makes a great side dish for a main course.
  • Ideal any time of the year! I LOVE eating creamy, refreshing grain salads like this in the summer!

What is pearl couscous?

Pearl couscous is actually a pasta, made from durum wheat flour semolina. It is often confused with a cereal or rice. Pearl couscous is also slightly different from Israeli couscous and is very different from regular couscous. Regular couscous is made up of very small, sometimes uneven pieces of wheat pasta. Israeli couscous looks like a pearl, but actually a little smaller. Sometimes it can be used instead of rice. It’s the base for many hearty salads with fresh flavors.

🥗What you need for this recipe:

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • Couscous with pearls – This is sometimes called Israeli couscous in grocery stores, which is little pearls of couscous. If you can’t do this, I would try using ditalini pasta.
  • Natural whole milk yogurt – or dairy-free yogurt.
  • Lemon juice and zest – Fresh is better.
  • Lawyer – I don’t recommend omitting it, because it makes a big difference to the salad!
  • Arugula – I think arugula works best, but you can always just another light green salad!
  • Mint leaves – Have fun here, add fresh mint, but also any other herbs that sound good!
  • Salt & Cracked black pepper – Use kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. I also recommend using flaky sea salt at the very end.

Tools and Equipment:

  • Medium saucepan or pot
  • Mixing bowl
  • Sharp knife

📋 How to prepare pearl couscous salad:

Step 1: prepare the ingredients

Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Generously salt the water and add 1 cup of couscous. Cook the couscous until done, according to the time indicated on the package.

Drain the couscous and rinse it thoroughly with cold water to cool it and remove excess starch. If the couscous clumps together, mix in a little oil.

2nd step: Mix the couscous

Once the couscous has cooled, add the yogurt and lemon juice to a large bowl, along with a little salt and any other seasonings of your choice. Leave for a few minutes to absorb the yogurt.

At this point, cut your avocado into cubes and remove the mint leaves from the stems.

Step 3: Assemble the salad

Mix the arugula with the couscous until smooth. Also gently incorporate the avocado cubes. Sprinkle with salt, zest the lemon over the salad and garnish with mint leaves. If you want more lemon flavor, add another squeeze on top. Optionally, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

Garnish with more zest and flaky salt. Serve as fresh.

couscous salad on a plate.

💭 Expert tips and tricks

  • For optimal results, treat creamy couscous as if it were a vinaigrette!
  • If you don’t have couscous, you can use another small type of pasta, like ditalini.
  • I recommend using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt for the most accurate results. Additionally, I like to garnish with a little flaky Maldon sea salt.
  • For more flavor, try toasting the couscous in a dry pan before cooking it in water until golden brown. This will give it a nice nutty flavor.

Storage and reheating tips:

  • Keep refrigerated : Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days.
  • Store in the freezer: Store in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to about 3 months.
  • How to reheat: Always inspect leftovers for dirt or mold using your eyes and nose. Eat fresh or at room temperature.

Recipe FAQs

Is pearl couscous healthy?

Pearl couscous is made with semolina flour or wheat flour, making it the same as regular pasta in terms of nutrition. It is not unhealthy in itself, but can easily be made healthy or unhealthy by how it is prepared.

What is the difference between couscous and pearl couscous?

Regular couscous is also made from semolina flour, but it is small, non-uniform pieces of wheat pasta. Pearl couscous is a larger, round ball of pasta.

Do you like a recipe you’ve tried? Please leave a 5 star rating🌟 in the recipe card below and/or a comment in the comments section further down the page. Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook when you try one of my recipes!

📖 Recipe

Arugula salad and pearl couscous recipe

This pearl couscous salad with arugula recipe is creamy, tangy, salty and so delicious! With lemon juice, fresh mint, lemon zest, yogurt and more!

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Course: Aperitif, Main Course, Salad, Side dish

Kitchen: American, Mediterranean

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Preparation time: ten minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 4 people

Calories: 254kilocalories

Instructions

  • Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil over medium heat. Generously salt the water and add 1 cup of couscous. Cook the couscous until done, according to the time indicated on the package.

  • Drain the couscous and rinse it thoroughly with cold water to cool it and remove excess starch. If the couscous clumps together, mix in a little oil.

  • Once the couscous has cooled, add the yogurt and lemon juice to a large bowl, along with a little salt and any other seasonings of your choice. Leave for a few minutes to absorb the yogurt.

  • At this point, cut your avocado into cubes and remove the mint leaves from the stems.

  • Mix the arugula with the couscous until smooth. Also gently incorporate the avocado cubes.

  • Sprinkle with salt, zest the lemon over the salad and garnish with mint leaves. If you want more lemon flavor, add another squeeze on top. Optionally, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

  • Garnish with more zest and flaky salt. Serve as fresh.

Remarks

  • For optimal results, treat creamy couscous as if it were a vinaigrette!
  • If you don’t have couscous, you can use another small type of pasta, like ditalini.
  • I recommend using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt for the most accurate results. Additionally, I like to garnish with a little flaky Maldon sea salt.
  • For more flavor, try toasting the couscous in a dry pan before cooking it in water until golden brown. This will give it a nice nutty flavor.

Nutrition

Calories: 254kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 8g | Saturated fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated fats: 1g | Monounsaturated fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 313mg | Potassium: 382mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 347UI | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

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