Jerusalem salad and tabbouleh are two of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes. Fresh, bright and so healthy, they act as the perfect compliment to the flavorful grilled meats and fishes traditional to that neck of the woods. This is my smash-up homage to those two sides, inspired simply by a package of whole-wheat couscous I found on sale a while back. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not usually a fan of whole-wheat pasta — I think the flavor is too overpowering. But the ease and speed of preparing couscous made me give it a shot, thinking it would be similar to the cracked wheat that is common in tabbouleh. Can I say I’m glad I gave my doubt the backseat? Harmony was achieved with these itty, bitty, wheat-y pasta nubbins once tossed with a lovely red wine vinaigrette, and paired with crisp veggies and tangy feta cheese. Try this quick and easy Jerusalem Salad with Couscous and Feta on its own or as a side, play around with pairings and most of all, enjoy!
2 cups water or stock
1 cup couscous (I used whole wheat here, but regular is just as wonderful)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup English/hothouse cucumber, deseeded and diced (a regular cucumber works too, but before deseeding and dicing, remove the skin, as it can be quite tough)
1 cup fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- Prepare the couscous according to package instruction. This will likely mean you bring 2 cups of water or stock to a boil, then add 1 cup of dry couscous, stir, remove from the heat, and then let sit covered for around 5 minutes. You’ll then uncover, fluff the couscous with a fork, and place in the refrigerator to cool. This “cooking” process can be done on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- In a large bowl, make your vinaigrette by combining the red wine vinegar, olive oil, oregano, kosher salt, and black pepper.
- Prepare your cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and scallions. Place them in the bowl with the vinaigrette, add the crumbled feta, and stir to combine. Let rest in the fridge until the couscous has cooled.
- Once cooled, combine the couscous with the dressed vegetables. Enjoy immediately or return it to the fridge to let all the flavors mingle for a spell. If you want, sprinkle with extra herbs or feta before you serve and nosh.