Nothing beats the flavors of the Mediterranean: briny Kalamata olives, Persian cucumbers, hearty chickpeas, Feta, tomatoes, Balsamic marinated red onions, Pearl couscous enveloped in a lemony dressing. This Pearl Couscous Salad with Feta & Chickpeas is sunshine in a bowl.
What is Pearl couscous?
There are three types of couscous according to cookinglight.com: Israeli, Moroccan and Lebanese. The most common I see here in Los Angeles, is Moroccan couscous, which are the tiniest pasta rounds that cook in boiling water and are ready in a few minutes. Second to that is Israeli, or Pearl couscous, which are rounds of pasta, sometimes tricolored, and cooks up in about 20 minutes. The other is Lebanese couscous which is even larger, and that type takes the longest to cook.
All types are versatile in easily converting a simple staple into a meal. I love Moroccan couscous for a simple side, like my Lemon Thyme Couscous with Olives that is perfect with baked salmon or grilled chicken cutlets. And I love Pearl couscous for quick salads like this one. Couscous is staple here in our home, and as you know, I love easy, versatile ingredients!
Let’s make Pearl couscous salad with Feta and Chickpeas
I recommend buying and cooking the couscous yourself. You are able to buy pouches with ready made couscous that you just microwave, and I’m not a fan. Take the extra few minutes and make your own, your palate will thank you.
For this recipe, I used Bob’s Red Mill Pearl Tricolor Couscous that I buy at Sprouts. In addition, most large supermarkets will carry this type of pearl couscous and it’s fairly easy to find. Cook to package directions.
It’s really easy to customize this salad also. I used Persian cucumbers, my Marinated Balsamic Red Onions, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, small tomatoes, canned, rinsed chickpeas and cooked Pearl couscous. The exact measurements are in the recipe card below as a starting point for you and you can adapt as you wish.
Last but not very least is the dressing. It’s a olive oil and lemon juice based dressing that comes together with just a few ingredients. Use fresh lemons as lemons that are past their freshness tend to have some bitterness, fresh lemons will have the brightness you want for this salad.
How to Serve this salad
This is a perfect addition to arugula and baby salad greens for a quick lunch. This is a perfect potluck dish and works well with fish, chicken and lamb. I also love this with grilled shrimp or a shrimp scampi.
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Pearl Couscous Salad with Feta & Chickpeas
Easy Lemon Dijon Dressing
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp sugar use can use 3/4 tsp to 1 tsp
- 1/8 tsp pepper to taste
- 1 tsp mustard Dijon
Pearl Couscous Salad with Feta and Chickpeas
- 1 cup Pearl couscous cooked
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cucumber Persian, chopped (can use English)
- 1 cup tomatoes baby, Cherry or grape (sliced in half or whole)
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives sliced
- 1/4 cup Marinated Balsamic Red onions or regular red onions chopped
- 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, jarred chopped
- 1/2 cup Feta cheese crumbled
- 1 tsp Oregano dried
- 1 tsp salt Kosher
- 1/2 tsp pepper course ground
- Combine all ingredients and shake until blended.
- Cook couscous to package directions, cool.
- Chop cucumbers, olives, onions, roasted red pepper and place in bowl.
- Rinse and drain chickpeas well and add to salad.
- Add cooled couscous to bowl.
- Add crumbled feta, salt, pepper and oregano.
- Add 1/4 cup dressing, toss and taste. Add more as needed.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
- Salad keeps up to 3 days, refrigerated.
Nutritional information is calculated online and should be used as a guide.
All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com