How often do you take lunch to work with you? Every day, once a week or maybe a couple of times a month? I’ve really tried to implement this in our household but was always falling short because I’d be planning on taking dishes that would just take way too long to prep. Sound familiar?
This is how this Mediterranean pearled couscous salad came about. I’d been keen to try pearled couscous for years but never really knew what to do with it or if it was an ingredient I’d be able to find easily. I managed to get my hands on some in a local bulk store a few months back and thought to experiment. It seemed like the perfect ingredient for a cold salad that would be easy to take to work or school.
The components used in this salad came together by way of a random combination of ingredients I thought would taste nice together. It has that Mediterranean influence mixed in with some staples that we have like rocket (arugula), and capsicum.
Now, don’t shy away from this recipe because of some of the ingredients that I have used. They can be substituted or altered to suit you. I’ll include those alternatives in the recipe below. Since it’s quite a quick and easy salad to put together, Michael gets this for lunch every couple of weeks, and he loves it!
Even though you don’t really see the feta in the images of the final dish, there are beautiful chunks of feta on the plate. The couscous tends to stick to it and cover it up, so it’s not very noticeable. But this is what the feta looks like in the jar. Use something similar that is creamy and rich. You can add more if you like the taste of the cheese in the recipe, I just wanted to balance out the flavours and not have anything overpower the whole dish.
Now to the recipe! You’ll be surprised how easy and quick it is.
Easy and super delicious as a main or entree/side!
- 1 cup pearled (Israeli) couscous, cooked as per instructions. Let it cool before using.
- 1 cup grilled red capsicum,* diced
- Large handful of rocket (arugula)
- 7-8 halves of sundried tomatoes,** chopped into strips
- 8 kalamata or similar olives, chopped - pitted or cut off the pit
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped (around 2-3 sprigs)
- 50-75gr macadamia feta,*** chopped (more if you like)
- ¼ cups olive oil (opt out if adding oil from sun-dried tomatoes or cheese jar)
- Salt to taste
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients and toss well.
- Serve cold as a side salad or main.
* Here’s a quick way to do it. I use a bowl with a lid to further steam the capsicum instead of a paper bag. If you don’t want to fluff about, you can always purchase it in a jar. Just make sure that the ingredients list is pretty much just oil and red capsicum. NOTE: They are also called red peppers.
** I love this type of sundried tomatoes because it comes in olive oil, which I then pour some into the salad instead of using separate oil.
*** This is by far my favourite macadamia feta. If you can’t get your hands on this stuff (which I assume would be a lot of you since it’s a local brand), any softer nut based cheese would work.
Total time is 10 minutes if couscous and capsicum are already cooked and cooled. Otherwise, add on about another 30 minutes for it to cool before combining everything.