Feta Pearl Couscous salad is literally summertime in a bowl. The cucumber and tomato combo along with the light but super flavorful dressing is screaming sunshine.Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
Pearl Couscous is my absolute favorite couscous because of its perfect size which makes it fluffy, bouncy, chewy and all around yummy.
Couscous is a staple in North African cuisine the same way rice is in other parts of the world. Pearl couscous aka “mograbiah” or “maftoul”in the Middle East feels like the happy medium between pasta and traditional couscous. It is couscous made in rural Palestine even though the name points back to its North African origins. Mograbiah translates to “from the Maghreb (aka North Africa; Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Algeria). The word “mograbiah” is popular in Lebanon, refers to the actual grain and a finished dish made with onions, chickpeas and chicken.
In general, the slightly smaller shaped is called maftoul and the slightly larger one is called mograbiah. Both are made using bulgar wheat paste, formed into balls (traditionally hand rolled), coated in flour, and then sun dried.
Luckily, both taste amazing in this recipe and the only difference is the size. You can find pearl, mograbiah, and/or maftoul in your local supermarkets or at the ethnic supermarket.
*Note, this is not the same as Isreali couscous. Isreali couscous is an extruded paste where the others are coated couscous.
You can definitely jazz up this salad even more by adding a ton of leafy greens or eat it as is. Add this sumac salmon or these chicken shish tawook on top to make it a full hearty meal with flavors that perfectly compliment each other.
You can also opt to change this up if you like as well by make these great substitutions and/or add ons:
- adding something sweet like medjool dates or raisins
- adding arugula or another leafy green
- adding a crunchy element to it by adding candied walnuts
- adding diced apple or pear for a fruity crunch
However, even if you chose to leave this salad as is you will be extremely happy. I tasted a similar salad at a great local small restaurant and I knew I had to figure out how to replicate it. First, because it tasted amazing and second because the quantities they offered were too small to satisfy my craving for this! After a few trials and errors I have the recipe for this amazingness.
And this goes without saying, always use fresh, in season, and local produce as much as possible! The flavor will be immensely better!
Feta pearl couscous salad is summertime in a bowl. This extremely easy and super flavorful salad is going to become your new go to side/salad.
- 3 cups pearl couscous
- 4.5 cups water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 cucumber, diced
- 1/2 purple onion, diced
- 1 tsp dried mint optional
- salt & pepper to taste
Bring water and salt to a boil in medium saucepan
Add couscous, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, covered, unter water is absored
Remove from heat, let stand covered for 3-4 minutes
In small bowl, whish together lemon, olive oil, salt & pepper to taste
dice all fresh ingredients
Toss all ingredients together
Dried mint definitely adds a nice unique flavor however it might be hard to find dried mint. If you do not have dried mint handy, this salad will taste amazing without it!