This delicious couscous salad recipe is infused with white balsamic soaked raisins, crisp arugula, and sauteed garlic mushrooms. Its such a light and healthy salad!
Israeli (pearl) couscous combined with sautéed balsamic mushrooms, golden raisins, and fresh arugula, makes the perfect spring/summer salad. Although couscous is technically pasta, this salad is not heavy at all. The fresh arugula and white balsamic vinegar give it such a fresh and vibrant flavor. I like to make this couscous salad a few hours before serving so the couscous has more time to soak up the flavor, but if you can’t wait a few hours, I don’t blame you. It’s too good to wait for!
What is Pearl couscous made of?
Although couscous looks like a grain, it is made of semolina flour. So it is very similar to pasta and can be enjoyed like pasta or rice.
This pearl couscous salad consists of just a few simple ingredients that become an amazing salad that can be served with just about anything.
- For the couscous– I love using pearl couscous (the texture is amazing).
- the vegetables– you’ll need mushrooms, garlic, arugula, and green onion, and golden raisins.
- For the sauce– this simple and light dressing is made with white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
Is it couscous healthy?
Depending on who you ask, couscous can be healthy (like is a light salad) and not so healthy (in a creamy sauce). It contains gluten so anyone that is following a gluten-free diet, cannot have couscous.
How to make a good couscous salad
How to cook couscous
- Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil, then add in your couscous and let it simmer for about 10 minutes covered.
- After you cook it and all the liquid has been absorbed into the grains, fluff it with a fork.
Do you rinse couscous before cooking?
Israeli couscous is similar to pasta so you do not need to rinse it prior to cooking.
How much water should I add to couscous?
When boiling Isreali or pearl couscous you want to have a couscous water ratio of 1 1/4 cup of water for every 1 cup of couscous. You can even use chicken broth instead of water for more flavor.
How to make couscous salad recipe
- Soak the raisins in boiling water for about half an hour.
- Cook the mushrooms in a skillet filled with a tablespoon of hot oil. Then add in the garlic and white vinegar. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Cook the couscous according to the package and drain out the water.
- In a large bowl, combine couscous, raisins, green onion, sautéed mushrooms, olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar. Now you can toss in the fresh greens, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
How long does couscous salad last in the fridge
If you store the salad in an airtight container, it will remain fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze couscous salad?
Depending on what other ingredients are in the salad will determine if you can freeze it or now. Couscous alone CAN be frozen, but ingredients like arugula, DO NOT freeze well.
Tips on making this couscous salad recipe
- Don’t overcook the couscous– Make sure to keep a close eye on it when it’s cooking. overcooked couscous will become mushy.
- Don’t use the red balsamic vinegar– I know that the red type is more commonly used, but it has a very different taste so stick with the white version.
- Serve chilled– Like all salad recipes, this one tastes the best when it’s nice and cold. It makes it refreshing as well.
What to serve with this Pearl couscous salad?
Couscous Salad Recipe
Soak the raisins
- Soak the raisins in hot water for 30 minutes. This will help soften them up so they can better absorb the rest of the salad ingredients
Saute the mushrooms
- Now, sauté the sliced mushrooms until they soften. Then add the minced garlic and 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
Boil the couscous
- Cook the couscous according to the package and drain out the water. Careful not to overcook it.
Combine everything together
- In a large bowl, combine couscous, raisins, chopped green onion, sautéed mushrooms, 4 tbsp olive oil, and 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar.
- Then add salt, pepper, and arugula. Toss to combine. Serve chilled.
Can I make this couscous salad ahead of time?Yes! You can even make it the night before. It will actually taste even better the next day.
How to store couscous saladKeep the salad in a bowl covered with plastic wrap in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can store it in an airtight container.
This recipe was originally posted on Aug 14, 2016. We have tweaked it a bit since then.