Tiffany Kent

Springtime Pearl Couscous Salad

Tiffany Kent
Springtime Pearl Couscous Salad

Last year I was visiting one of my favorite local restaurants when I had a salad very close to the one I'm sharing today. It was called "Grape and Pearl Couscous Salad" and I thought it sounded interesting - so I gave it a try. 

It was the first time I had tried Pearl Couscous. Unlike regular couscous, Pearl Couscous (also called Israeli Couscous) is made of toasted wheat in the shape of pearls. They're round, and larger than traditional couscous, and they have a mild, nutty flavor. (This type of couscous is traditionally eaten in the middle east, where it is mixed with with garlic, tomatoes, and herbs, and sometimes served with meat.)

Anyway, the salad was really good - so good that I decided to replicate it!

Springtime Couscous salad 2.jpg

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup pearl couscous
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups halved purple or red seedless grapes
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ¼ lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese

Dressing:

  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ c. fresh orange juice
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

Optional Mix-ins:

  • 1 cup fresh kale or spinach
  • Grilled chicken

The Method:

  1. Cook 1 cup pearl couscous according to package directions. (This usually requires boiling water and couscous at a high temperature, then reducing to a simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until water has dissipated.) Set aside.
  2. Make the dressing: combine 2 tbsp. EVOO, ¼ freshly squeezed orange juice, pepper, and sea salt in a small dish and set aside.
  3. Chop asparagus into 2” lengths. Add olive oil to a sautéing pan along with garlic salt. Sautee for 5-7 minutes, then sprinkle lemon juice over.
  4. Chop grapes into halves lengthwise.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together pearled couscous, asparagus, and grapes. Pour dressing over and toss to evenly coat. Add in parmesan cheese. If desired, add in fresh kale or spinach before serving. Top with grilled chicken if preferred!
  6. This can be stored for up to three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator! Enjoy!