Let me introduce you to my new favorite thing, Israeli couscous.

I have a new obsession that is Israeli couscous.  I’ve been a fan of regular couscous for a while but once more, this time in a pretty purple box, Trader Joe’s has delivered greatness.

I don’t know about you but lately I can’t seem to find enough hours in the day.  Commute, Work, church, exercise, blog, small group, taxes (yuck!), oh yeah, my husband.  Sleep is overrated anyway.  See what I’m getting at?  I’m sure that you find yourself in the same predicament.

I assumed that we couldn’t eat this quick-fix all the time so I found another solution to the problem: couscous salad studded with lots of fresh veggies and big Mediterranean flavor for a health, quick and simple weeknight meal ever. 

We have eaten this nearly weekly for the last several weeks and we can’t get enough!  If you don’t like black olives, you can add roasted red peppers, if you don’t like spinach, add some artichokes.  Stir in some hummus, add some chicken, or better yet, mahi mahi!

Just do it.

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Quick Israeli Couscous Salad Recipe

Yield: 2-3 servings as main dish; 4-6 servings as a side

Cook Time: 25 minutes

A favorite weeknight meal full of color, flavor, and health.

Ingredients:

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 Tbs. + 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 1/3 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
1 3/4 cups water or stock
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1/2 tsp. Greek seasoning (we like Cavender’s)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Juice of half a lemon

Directions:

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the tomatoes, shallots and garlic in a glass baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven until the tomato skins begin to crack and the onions and garlic are tender and fragrant.

While the veggies are roasting, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a 2 quart sauce pan. Add couscous and toast for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until the couscous is lightly browned. Slowly add in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.

After the water is added to the couscous, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to a large skillet and wilt the spinach. Add the black olives and seasoning and stir. Stir in the cooked couscous and roasted tomatoes, shallots and garlic.

Drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, and the lemon juice and add the feta cheese.

Cassie’s Notes:
We have also made this with chicken: add two cups of cooked chicken when you add the black olives.

Other variations: add roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped artichoke hearts, any kind of cooked fish, etc. Adapt to your heart's desire!