Jump to recipe

There’s something about Israeli couscous that I’m infatuated with.  I don’t know if it’s the toothsome, pasta-like texture, the neutral palette that makes it the perfect canvas for any ingredient, or the versatility.  Perhaps it just reminds me of Israel?


Everything behind me is made of hummus. True story.


Whatever the reason I was in the mood for it recently and wanted a salad treatment so I could make it during the day and bring it to an outdoor concert in the evening and found this Cook’s Illustrated recipe from 2015.

As much as I loved the pickled shallots (and they were easy and fast) I found myself eating around them and then plucking them out.  I would consider ditching them next time for this reason as well as the fact that I felt like there was a lot going on in this recipe — feta, pistachios, mint, arugula, lemon, peas.   Not to mention the CI signature of adding a fussy step to the couscous cooking (in this instance, sauteing.  And let me tell you, it’s like sauteing a thousand tiny, greased ball bearings — prepare to sweep them out of every corner of your kitchen floor).  So if you’re looking to streamline this recipe you can skip the shallots.

Shallot dilemma aside, this was exactly what I was looking for.  It was flavorful and delicious warm and cold.  I ate it that night and the next day and although the mint wilted a bit it was still wonderful.