Farmer’s Market Salad With Couscous

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An Israeli couscous salad recipe that is tossed with a Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette and mixed with squash, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. It’s a vibrant salad that is perfect for lunch, as a side dish, or even by itself.

couscous salad in a white bowl with a red striped napkin

It really doesn’t get any fresher than making a salad with ingredients picked fresh from the farm!

Going to the farmers’ market is one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning. There’s something about all the local farmers with their fresh ingredients that really motivates me to get into the kitchen and cook up something delicious.

If these people can haul several hundred pounds of corn to a farmers market at 5 am, I can certainly get myself out there for 30 minutes to buy some and cook it at home, right?

couscous salad recipe pinterest short pin

I love supporting small and local businesses. It makes me feel good and it’s a great feeling to know where your products came from and what went into them.

If you live in the Baltimore area, I suggest checking out the Baltimore Farmers’ Market because it’s truly one of the best ones I’ve been to.

This couscous salad is one of my favorite things to make in the summer! It’s made with all my favorite fresh ingredients from my local farmers’ market and recently I’ve been throwing Israeli couscous into the mix.

An Israeli couscous salad recipe that is tossed with a Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette and mixed with squash, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. It's a vibrant salad that is perfect for lunch, as a side dish, or even by itself.Click to Tweet

When I first started making this “farmers’ market salad”, it was only made with ingredients I found at the farmers’ market. Since adding Israeli couscous to the mix, I haven’t turned back! If you’re looking for a low carb salad, you can totally omit the couscous and it will still be amazing!

What is Israeli couscous?

Couscous is a pasta made from semolina flour that is then mixed with water. It used to be an extremely labor intensive process which required hours of drying in the sun.

These days, most couscous is machine made. The process includes steaming and drying so all you have to do is revive it with boiling water!

raw couscous, cherry tomatoes, corn, and basil on a wooden table

Similar to pasta, couscous is flavorless. I think that’s why I love it so much—because I get to make it taste like whatever I want it to!

The secret to the most flavorful couscous salad

The flavor secret in this salad is the lemon dijon vinaigrette. It’s SO good you guys! The dijon mustard makes it insanely creamy and the lemon gives it a little tang.

Lemon dijon vinaigrette

The vinaigrette on this salad is to die for. I make variations of it for salads all the time, but tossing it with pearl couscous is a new favorite of mine!

It’s made with 5 pantry staple ingredients: 

  • dijon mustard
  • lemon juice
  • rosé balsamic vinegar (white balsamic works too)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper (or your favorite all purpose seasoning)

It’s light and goes with just about anything. You can play around with different flavored olive oils to change it up a bit or you can use a good extra virgin olive oil

I used rosé balsamic in my vinaigrette, but you can also use a champagne vinegar or white balsamic vinegar

overhead shot of couscous salad in a white bowl

Make ahead tips

This entire couscous salad recipe can be prepped and made ahead of time. In fact, if you let the couscous marinate in the lemon dijon vinaigrette for an hour or two it will have even more flavor!

If you want to prep everything the day before and make it the day of, I suggest storing the vinaigrette in a small container like this one or this one. It will last in the refrigerator for about a week.

The corn can be cooked and stored ahead of time, as well as the tomatoes and squash. I don’t recommend cutting the cheese until you are ready to mix it in with all the other ingredients.

couscous salad in 2 small bowls and 1 large bowl

How to make this couscous salad recipe

I love this couscous recipe because it’s light and healthy enough to call a salad with all the fresh vegetables that are in here, but also filling enough to call “comforting”.

  1. Start by cooking the couscous in vegetable broth according to package instructions. You can use water, but the vegetable broth will add more flavor!
  2. While the couscous is cooking, prepare ingredients and make the vinaigrette by whisking all vinaigrette ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until fully combined.
  3. Then sauté the squash and the corn and sauté for 1-2 more minutes and set aside.
  4. When the couscous is finished cooking, add the vinaigrette and mix. Then mix in the squash, corn, mozzarella, and basil. Transfer the couscous mixture to a large serving bowl and garnish with more fresh basil.

farmers market couscous salad in 2 small bowls

Feel free to mix things up though, you don’t have to use the exact vegetables I used. You can add things like red onion, bell peppers, cucumbers, or whatever else you feel like throwing in there!

This Farmers’ Market Salad With Couscous is light and perfect for summer but also made with ingredients that are typically available throughout the year.

You can easily turn it into a full meal by adding your favorite protein. I like to serve mine with chicken, salmon, or shrimp

Grilled chicken on a white plate with couscous salad

Want to try this Farmers’ Market Salad With Couscous?

PIN IT to your summer snacks, yogurt, or breakfast board to save it for later!
Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes. I’m always pinning!

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Did you make this recipe? Post a photo on Instagram and tag me @JZEATS or #JZEATS so I can see your beautiful creations! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, too!

couscous salad in 2 small bowls and 1 large bowl
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5 from 1 vote

Farmer's Market Couscous Salad Recipe

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword couscous, couscous salad, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 190kcal

Ingredients

Couscous Salad

  • 1 cup Israeli pearl couscous
  • vegetable broth, this is optional but it will really enhance the flavor of the couscous
  • 1 yellow squash, quartered
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh corn, kernels removed (about 2 ears)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • olive oil for cooking
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper or your favorite all purpose seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon rosé balsamic vinegar, can substitute for white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Couscous Salad

  • Cook couscous in vegetable broth according to package instructions. You can use water, but the vegetable broth will add more flavor!
  • While the couscous is cooking, prepare ingredients: remove the corn kernels, cut squash into 1/4 inch quarters, slice the tomatoes in half, chop the basil, and prepare the vinaigrette by whisking all vinaigrette ingredients together in a small mixing bowl until fully combined.
  • Sauté the squash in 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste for 2-3 minutes. Then add the corn and sauté for 1-2 more minutes and set aside.
  • When the couscous is finished cooking, add the vinaigrette and mix. Then mix in the squash, corn, mozzarella, and basil. Transfer the couscous mixture to a large serving bowl and divide between plates to serve. Top with more fresh basil for extra flavor.

Notes

*Nutrition information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
Nutrition Facts
Farmer's Market Couscous Salad Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 54mg2%
Potassium 216mg6%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 278IU6%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Author: JZ Eats

Eating is my hobby, cooking is my passion. Sharing easy to follow recipes from my kitchen.

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