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Herbed Couscous Salad

Couscous is a tiny granular pasta made of crushed durum wheat. Like all pasta, it can be prepared in countless ways. Couscous originated in North Africa and is popular there as well as in the Middle East. Americans have embraced instant couscous—pre-steamed and dried—for its easy preparation. The pasta has grown in popularity since the early 2000s through celebrity chefs, especially British couscous fan Jamie Oliver, and today it can be found in most supermarkets. Simple and full of bright colors, this refreshing couscous-based salad makes a great addition to any summer cookout.

Recipe Servings: 2

Prep Time
15 minutes
+ 1 hour resting
Cook Time
12 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 27 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free


  • 1 cup uncooked couscous (whole wheat preferred)
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp harissa or other garlic chili sauce like sriracha
  • 12 stems chives, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp finely sliced fresh mint
  • ¼ tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves


  1. In medium heatproof bowl, add couscous and drizzle with olive oil, rubbing to coat.
  2. Add boiling water, cover and let stand 10–12 minutes, until all water is absorbed.
  3. Fluff couscous with fork until no lumps remain. Set aside to cool.
  4. Stir together lemon juice, harissa, and a drizzle of olive oil in medium salad bowl.
  5. Add herbs, lemon zest and cooled couscous.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Fold in the tomatoes.
  8. Cover and refrigerate a minimum of 60 minutes or up to 3 hours for flavors to meld, but no longer, as herbs will wilt.
  9. Serve.

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