HO CUCINATO… Couscous Salad with Herbs

by valentinalucia

Dinner tonight was a cold, grain dish – Couscous Salad with Herbs, adapted from a recipe from Old Fashioned Living. Other than pasta, the other grain ingredient my dad has on-hand in his apartment is couscous, which is a grain I absolutely love. It’s so versatile, you can make anything with it – side dishes, appetizers, main courses, whatever. A cold couscous salad was suggested to me so I went searching for recipes, found a very simple one and modified it to what I had available and to personal taste. I love the way this salad came out – it’s light, yet filling. I was worried at first that this wouldn’t be enough as the main course for dinner. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the serving size I made was plenty (and paired with a few small slices of aged Asiago cheese added a nice touch!). The textures of the couscous and the black beans worked well together, and the classic pairing of tomato and basil really amped up the dish. The various herbs gave the meal such a great aroma as well. This is a perfect, easy dish to make for picnics and parties, especially in the summertime because of its lightness.

Cold Couscous Salad with Herbs (serves 2-3)

Adapted from Old Fashioned Living

3/4 cup dry couscous
1 cup boiling water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp. dried parsley, minced
1 tbsp. each fresh minced oregano and basil
1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup black olives, chopped
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt, pepper, to taste


In a large casserole dish combine the couscous and water then cover and allow it to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool until just warm. Mix remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.