You’ll adore this recipe for Mediterranean couscous salad, which is packed with fresh herbs, peppers, chickpeas, and a zesty lemon vinaigrette for flavor and nutrition.
Depending on your needs, this meal makes a fantastic lunch, light dinner, or side. Additionally, if you prepare it ahead, the flavors get better the next day.
What is Couscous?
A typical food that is served in tens of thousands of restaurants worldwide is couscous. Additionally, preparing it at home is simple.
You’re at the correct place if you want to include couscous to your weekly meal and are curious about the many varieties and when to utilise them.
Types of Couscous
The smallest variety of couscous is Moroccan couscous. Due to its small size, it cooks quickly and is a great healthy choice for days when you don’t have time to prepare a fancy supper.
It is often known as pearl couscous as compared to Moroccan and Golden Couscous, Pearl Couscous is a bit bigger and rapidly takes on the tastes of the herbs, spices, and fluids you prepare it with.
We have three types of pearl couscous at Bob’s Red Mill.
It has a mildly nutty flavour and a robust texture, making it perfect as a side dish or mellow-tasting morning cereal. Golden Couscous provides 9 grams of protein per serving and makes a delicious swap for classic spaghetti and white rice.
Use it as a bed for homemade stew, meat, or veggies to enjoy it like Moroccan couscous.
Whole Wheat Pearl Couscous
This variation of pearl couscous, which is made with whole wheat, is a lovely way to include whole grains in your supper. The airy, fluffy texture and nutty taste of this couscous also make it simple to pair with virtually anything.
When you’re pressed for time but still want to have a healthy supper, whole wheat pearl couscous is the best option. It cooks in only fifteen minutes.
Mediterranean Couscous Recipe
This recipe comes together really quickly and is loaded with bell peppers, fresh crisp cucumber, and luscious ripe tomatoes. This quick salad is the ideal side or meatless main dish because it just takes two minutes to dress.
- 1 large lemon juice
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 cup Pearl Couscous
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
- ⅓ cup finely chopped red onions
- ½ English cucumber, finely chopped
- 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 14 oz can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped if needed
- ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
- 15-20 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn; more for garnish
- baby mozzarella (or feta cheese), optional
Directions to Make
- Put the elements for the lemon-dill vinaigrette in a bowl to combine. Combine elements by whisking. Put away for a while
- Two teaspoons of olive oil should be heated in a medium-sized heavy saucepan. The couscous should be quickly sautéed in olive oil until golden brown
- Add 3 cups of boiling water (or the advised amount listed on the packaging), then cook the food as directed. Drain in a colander when ready. To cool, place aside in a dish
- Combine the remaining elements, excluding the basil and mozzarella, in a large mixing basin. The couscous and basil are next added, and the mixture is gently stirred
- Now combine the vinaigrette with the lemon and dill and pour it over the couscous salad. To mix, stir it again. Test it, and if necessary, adjust the salt
- Add the mozzarella cheese last. Add extra fresh basil as a garnish. Enjoy!
Why We Love this Recipe
Easy to Make
What’s not to love about a dish that’s simple to make, loaded with fresh vegetables, and topped with a tasty homemade dressing?
It’s so Fast
So quickly! Making couscous only takes a few minutes. The entire dish may be prepared in approximately 20 minutes by washing and chopping all of the vegetables while the couscous cooks and cools.
What Should I Pair it With?
This couscous salad is a complete dinner on its own, as I previously stated. Additionally, you may serve it as a light vegetarian supper with roasted eggplant and a baba ganoush or garlic hummus.
It may be made ahead of time and used as required for lunch, but it also goes well with a variety of foods including chicken kabobs, kofta, baked salmon, za’atar chicken, and more!
Mediterranean Couscous Salad: How Long Does It Last?
Couscous salad keeps for about 5 days in the fridge, just like any other pasta salad. Add more dressing or a touch of salt or pepper to revive the flavors.
Couscous shouldn’t be frozen since when spaghetti is frozen, it develops a mushy feel when thawed. But because making this salad is so simple, why not prepare some more?
Health Benefits of Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Couscous is currently finished all across the world, despite once being regarded as a North African delicacy.
In fact, the bulk of supermarket stores have it on their shelves.
It is a refined grain product formed from tiny semolina or durum wheat balls.
Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese couscous are the three types. The smallest and most widely available kind is Moroccan couscous.
Israeli or pearl couscous is larger than peppercorns and requires more time to prepare. It often tastes nuttier and has a chewier texture. The largest and most time-consuming to prepare is Lebanese couscous.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad Increases the Immune System
Couscous contains selenium, which helps boost your immune system.
By decreasing oxidative stress in your body, this antioxidant promotes immunity while decreasing inflammation.
According to studies, a selenium deficit can impair immune cells and their ability to operate while elevated blood levels of selenium boost the immunological response.
Additionally, selenium aids in the regeneration of the antioxidant vitamins C and E, which support your immune system.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad Could Reduce Cancer Risk
Additionally, the selenium in couscous may reduce your chance of developing cancer.
High blood levels of selenium may offer protection against several malignancies, according to a study of 69 research affecting more than 350,000 participants.
However, the impact was linked to drinking foods high in selenium rather than taking supplements.
Prostate cancer risk has been particularly related in several studies to selenium lack. Additionally, studies have suggested that getting enough selenium and mixing it with vitamins C and E lowers the risk of lung cancer in smokers.
Mediterranean Couscous Salad Full of Selenium
Selenium is one of the most crucial elements found in couscous.
The recommended daily allowance is more than 60% of one cup of couscous (157 grams).
A vital mineral with several health advantages is selenium. Couscous is a potent antioxidant that lowers inflammation and aids in the body’s ability to heal damaged cells.
It contributes to thyroid health as well. It is necessary for the thyroid gland to operate properly, safeguarding it from harm and helping to produce hormones.
By lowering inflammation and oxidative stress in your body, the selenium in couscous may help lessen your chance of developing heart disease.
Additionally, by acting as an antioxidant, it helps lessen plaque and “bad” LDL cholesterol formation on artery walls, veins, and walls.
Suitable Plant Protein Source
Your body is made up of protein, which is composed of amino acids, to a degree of 16–20%. Nearly all of your body’s metabolic processes need amino acids.
Therefore, it’s crucial to eat protein from both animal and/or plant sources. With 6 grams of plant-based protein per cup (157 grams), couscous is a decent source of this kind of protein.
Remember that animal protein is a complete protein because it contains all of the necessary amino acids that your body cannot make.
The majority of plant-based proteins lack sufficient levels of the majority of the necessary amino acids. Soy, quinoa and a few other plant-based protein sources stand out as incomplete sources of protein.
In vegetarian and vegan diets, plant-based protein is crucial, which makes a couscous a superior meal option. To ensure that you receive all of the necessary amino acids, it should be supplemented with other plant proteins.
In general, couscous is a healthy dish that you can feel confident eating as a part of a diet that is well-balanced. It contains some protein, B vitamins, and minerals and is naturally low in fat.
Whole wheat varieties can also be a rich source of fiber.
Couscous should only be consumed with caution by those with diabetes symptoms since it may induce unintended blood sugar rises. You might have an allergy to couscous or any other food.
Couscous made from whole grains is a rich source of fibre. Fiber has several health benefits. It can keep you fuller for longer and prevent blood sugar spikes.
Additionally, it could lower cholesterol, which lowers your risk of developing heart disease.
This Mediterranean couscous salad contains the ideal ratio of protein, fiber-rich veggies, and phytonutrients, making it both light and filling. With each bite of this vegetarian side dish, you can taste the freshness and flavour of the ingredients.
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