Mediterranean Pearled Couscous Salad

This salad is easily made a day in advance of serving, through addition of the olives, and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. If making ahead, the flavors of the vinaigrette will really have a chance to soak into the couscous. For best results, return to room temperature and hold arugula, basil, and Feta to add shortly before serving.

Inspired by my Chickpea and Feta Salad

Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 cup pearled (Israeli) couscous
  • 5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 -1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or equivalent amount dried chickpeas, cooked)
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup halved Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped baby arugula
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Feta (I use French), plus additional for serving


  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add couscous and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 4 minutes. Add water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer until water is absorbed and couscous is al dente, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. While couscous is cooking, whisk together remaining 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add warm, cooked couscous and stir to coat. Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes. Let stand 10 minutes.

  3. Add olives, baby arugula, and basil. Gently fold in crumbled Feta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a little additional Feta crumbled over the salad on the platter, if desired. Salad is best enjoyed at room temperature.