Salads Sides

Israeli Couscous with Mint, Feta, Peas & Pickled Shallots

A pretty side dish for any upcoming holiday, brunch, or cookout!

Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

A pretty side dish any upcoming holiday, brunch, or cookout! This has so many gorgeous ingredients: the salty feta, peppery arugula, bright lemon juice, fresh mint, chewy couscous and the sweet, bright green peas. But the bright pink pickled shallots are the key to the unique taste, and add a great layer of flavor!

Israeli Couscous with Mint, Feta, Peas & Pickled Shallots

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

Ingredients for Couscous

  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt

Ingredients for Salad

  • cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more for finishing
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn (add more mint, as desired)
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 oz feta cheese, diced or crumbled

Preparation

  1. 1. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt to a simmer over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add shallots, stir, cover and remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Drain and roughly chop shallots. Set aside.
  2. 2. Using a medium saucepan, heat couscous and oil over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until the grains are golden brown.
  3. 3. Add water and salt, stir. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove pan from heat and let stand, still covered for a few minutes. Next, grab a baking sheet. Spread the couscous in a single layer and cool. Set aside.
  4. 4. Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl. Add couscous, arugula, mint, peas, feta and shallots. Toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Add a squeeze of lemon juice over the salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Notes:

  • Cooling the couscous on a baking sheet is key. If you allow it to cool in the bowl it will get mushy. 
  • This salad is best the day it is made, but does make nice leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. 

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