This Spring Greens Couscous Salad recipe is a delicious, beautiful dish that can be made any time of the year. The salad served with fresh grilled salmon is also perfect for entertainment.
What is couscous
Couscous is a staple food in North African cuisine, but also in Middle East cuisine. It's a type of pasta made from semolina flour, which comes from durum wheat. The semolina is moistened and rolled into tiny granules, which are then steamed or boiled.
You will find different types of couscous. The most common one is the Moroccan couscous that has a small grain and cooks really fast.
Another type is the Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous. This is the ingredient we will use today in our recipe. This type of couscous is larger in size and has a chewier texture. It is popular in salads or served as a side dish.
Lebanese couscous (also known as Moghrabieh or giant couscous) is the largest type and it is cooked in various ways.
Why do I like this recipe
I love pearl couscous. I absolutely adore the texture of it and how versatile it is in the recipes. you should try this Pearl Couscous With Almonds And Raisins, or this Moroccan Chicken with Figs And Couscous recipe, so you can understand what I am talking about.
It has more body than the regular couscous and looks beautiful on the plate.
This Spring Greens Couscous Salad recipe is super easy to put together and suitable for any day of the week.
However, I think it also makes a wonderful dinner for entertaining and a healthy way to feed your guests.
What do you need for this recipe
The recipe consists of a mixture of fresh baby Spring greens, which can also be replaced with arugula or other types of greens you like, basil, cilantro (that brings lots of flavor to the combination), red onions, couscous, and dried cranberries.
Everything is tossed in a simple vinaigrette and finished with Feta cheese (or fresh goat cheese) and toasted pecans.
I serve this salad with grilled salmon which really complements the recipe to perfection.
Tip: For entertainment, serve it on dark dinner plates for a more elegant look. Your guests will be very impressed!
Besides the fact that everything looks so good, it is also very, very delicious.
The recipe has plenty of room for improvisation—use baby spinach or butter lettuce instead or in addition to the mixed greens, and toasted walnuts instead of pecans.
Use more or less of any ingredient to your taste.
If I would not have some common sense, I would probably eat tons of it with no regrets. I just love it!
What is not to love about this salad?
Slightly peppery-tasting greens, sweet dried cranberries, crunchy pecans, beautiful couscous, and the freshness of the cilantro combined with the saltiness of the feta cheese or the creaminess of the goat cheese make this salad divine and perfect.
If you make the salad in advance for a party, do not add the dressing until you are ready to serve.
How to store this salad
In the refrigerator: Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep well for up to 1-2 days. Keep in mind that the greens are delicate and wilt easily. Also, the pecans may lose their crunch over time.
This recipe is not suitable for freezing.
Store leftover toasted pecans in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to a month. They can also be frozen for up to 2 months.
Yes, you can. While this recipe calls for pecans, you can substitute them with other nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pine nuts. Just make sure to toast them first for that extra crunch and flavor.
Absolutely. You can use any cheese that crumbles well. Blue cheese or even a sharp cheddar could add a different, but delicious, flavor profile.
If you don't have pearl couscous, you can substitute it with regular couscous, quinoa, or even orzo. The cooking instructions may vary, so make sure to adjust accordingly.
More recipes to enjoy
Spring Greens Couscous Salad
- 4 ounces whole pecans
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups fresh baby spring greens
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 bunch chopped cilantro
- ½ medium red onion sliced thinly
- ¼ cup crumbled Feta or crumbled soft goat cheese
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 1 cup uncooked Pearl couscous
- 1 ½ cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Put the pecans in a bowl, sprinkle the melted butter over them, and toss until they are all well coated.
- Sprinkle the pecans with sugar and gently toss again until they are lightly coated. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the coated pecans out in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the pecans sit until cool enough to touch.
Make the dressing:
- Place the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small jar. Cover and shake until the dressing is well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the salad:
- Place the salad greens in a large bowl.
- Add chopped fresh basil, cilantro, and sliced onion.
Cook the couscous:
- Toast couscous in butter for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Bring water to a boil. Add the pearl couscous and salt. Return to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain any remaining water.
- Add it to the salad.
- Add the dried cranberries and pecans.
- Pour ¼ cup vinaigrette over the salad and mix gently to coat the ingredients.
- Finish the salad with crumbled Feta cheese or crumbled goat soft cheese.