Pearl couscous tossed with a delicious lemon vinaigrette is perfect for pairing with just about anything. It's simple to prepare too. Can be served hot or cold.
Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous, is a larger version of small couscous. It has a chewy texture and a smooth surface which makes it fun to eat because it bounces around in your mouth. I find the texture is also better for sides and salads.
Have you ever had those ice cream drops that are so much fun to eat? It's kind of like that.
This dish a common request in my house and any leftovers make a great lunch paired with your favorite protein.
This recipe came about by combining my lemon herb vinaigrette to a base recipe for pearl couscous. I was preparing my grilled lemon herb chicken breasts and had some of the vinaigrette leftover. I mixed it into the couscous that I was serving as a side and the family loved it.
It’s also quick and easy to prepare which is what I love.
GIVE THESE A TRY
I used about ½ cup of the lemon herb vinaigrette which is approximately half a recipe. You can make a full recipe and keep it in the fridge. Use it within a couple of days and pour it on salads or your favorite protein.
I’ve listed half a recipe here for your convenience, but go check out the original post for more ideas.
As for the couscous, I prefer using water instead of stock. The point here is to let the lemon vinaigrette shine through. I don’t want to mask the flavor with stock. Besides, you'll always have water around, right?
I've made pearl couscous using the recommended liquid stated on the package which is one cup of couscous to one and a half cups of water. I find that there's always liquid leftover in the pan that doesn't get absorbed.
One way around it is to continue cooking the couscous uncovered until the excess liquid to evaporate. Yes, you can do that but you may overcook the couscous in the process. Why not simply reduce the water?
I've made this dish on many different stoves and found the outcome to be the same. Therefore, I just reduce the water by ¼ cup and it works fine.
Once the pearl couscous is cooked, take it off heat and stir in the lemon vinaigrette. Transfer into your serving bowl and you're done. Easy, right?
Life is too short for mediocre food.
LEMON HERB PEARL COUSCOUSPRINT PIN SAVESaved!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 ½ cups pearl or Israeli couscous
- 2 cups water See NOTES
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
MAKE THE COUSCOUS:
- In a medium saucepan (2 quart is what I use here), over medium high heat, add oil and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant - about 30 seconds.
- Add couscous and stir coating it with the oil and garlic. Cook, stirring for about 1 - 2 minutes. You want to lightly toast the pearl couscous. This will give it a nuttier flavor.
- Add water and salt, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed but still firm - about 10 minutes. If you still find some liquid in the pan, cook uncovered over medium/high heat stirring it until it evaporates. Don't leave it. It will evaporate in no time. You don't want it completely dry, the couscous should still flow a bit.
- Transfer into a serving bowl and toss with a fork. It will start to stick together but will separate again once it's tossed with the dressing.
MAKE THE LEMON HERB VINAIGRETTE:
- Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a 2 cup measure, jar, or small bowl. Pour over couscous and toss to combine.
- Can be served hot, at room temperature, or cold. Enjoy.
MORE DELICIOUS SIDES
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