This roasted tomato pearl couscous salad includes juicy roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and salty Kalamata olives. It's all tossed together with crumbled feta, fresh cucumber and thyme, and zesty lemon dressing.
This giant couscous salad is a bit of a play on a greek salad, with the olives, tomatoes, cucumber and feta. However the pearl couscous brings a different twist.
It's a great salad to serve warm, or cold so you can easily make it advance.
The Pearl Couscous Salad Recipe Ingredients
The bulk ingredient in this dish is the pearl couscous. This is also known as Israeli couscous, giant couscous or it's proper name is Ptitim. It's a type of pasta that when cooked, swells up into plump grains. Ptitim recipes were first made in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce.
While cooking pearl couscous, it absorbs the water while it's being cooked. This is when it really turns into giant couscous. It is a great time to impart more flavour into the dish by cooking the pearl couscous in broth. As the pasta absorbs the water, it's also absorbing all the lovely stock flavours.
Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic, Kalamata Olives
Juicy, plump cherry tomatoes are roasted in a hot oven with Kalamata olives, fresh thyme and garlic cloves.
The tomatoes burst in the heat and lightly caramelise which makes them even sweeter and tasty. The baked olives are extra good - if you've not tried baked olives before you totally should! Do choose good quality kalamata olives though, or home-brined olives.
The garlic is roasted in unpeeled cloves so it can soften and sweeten. Later it will be squeezed into the lemon dressing.
Cucumber and Feta
Crunchy cucumber pieces throughout the salad add a fresh touch and texture, while crumbled feta gives saltiness.
Zesty Lemon Dressing
The dressing consists of fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, olive oil, maple syrup (or honey), the roasted garlic and salt. It's very simple to make, just add it all to a jar, add on the lid and shake it up.
The Pearl Couscous Salad Recipe Method
The method is written in the recipe card below but I will run through the steps here too.
Step 1 - The oven is preheated and the pearl couscous is prepared. Add the couscous to a large saucepan along with a little olive oil and gently toast it for a minute before pouring over the stock and water. Let the water come to a simmer, then turn the heat down and let it keep cooking until the water has been absorbed by the pearl couscous. It should still have a slightly firm bite to it. Break it up a bit with a fork, then add it to a large bowl and leave it to cool.
Step 2 - Add whole cherry tomatoes, olives, garlic cloves and a few sprigs of thyme to a roasting tray. Drizzle over olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until the tomatoes have burst, the olives have wrinkled and the garlic is soft.
Step 3. Chop the cucumber into small cubes.
Step 4. Add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, maple syrup (or honey) and olive oil to a jar. Squeeze out the garlic from its skin and mash it up with the back of a knife. Add it to the jar. Screw on the lid and shake it vigorously. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
Step 5. Add the roasted tomatoes, olives and cucumber over top of the couscous. Crumble over the feta and a little fresh thyme. Drizzle lemon dressing over the couscous and toss it all together. Serve the salad warm, or cool.
Have you made this easy pearl couscous recipe? Tag me and let me know! @home_grown_happinessnz
Pearl Couscous Salad with Roasted tomatoes, and Olives
Pearl Cous Cous
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ cups pearl couscous
- 1 ½ cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- ½ tsp salt if using unsalted stock
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- ½ cup kalamata olives
- 4 cloves garlic unpeeled
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small cucumber
- 150 grams feta cheese
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
Zesty Lemon Dressing
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 2 tsp maple syrup or honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (374°F).
- Place a large pot over medium heat and add in 2 tablespoons olive oil and the pearl couscous. Toast the couscous for a minute, stirring constantly.
- Pour over the stock and the water (and salt if using unsalted stock) and bring it to a simmer. Turn the heat down and let it keep cooking until the water has been absorbed by the couscous. It should still have a slightly firm bite to it. Break it up a bit with a fork, then add it to a large bowl and leave it to cool.
- Add the 2 sprigs of thyme to a roasting tray and place the whole cherry tomatoes, the olives and the garlic cloves on top. Drizzle over 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes have burst, the olives have wrinkled and the garlic is soft.Set the softened garlic aside for the dressing.
- Chop the cucumber into small cubes.
- Add lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, maple syrup (or honey) and olive oil to a jar. Squeeze out the garlic from its skin and mash it up with the back of a knife. Add it to the jar. Screw on the lid and shake it vigorously. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Add the roasted tomatoes, olives and cucumber over top of the couscous. Crumble over the feta. Strip the leaves off the remaining thyme sprigs and sprinkle them over too. Drizzle over the lemon dressing then toss it all together. Serve the salad warm, or cool.