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.
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?
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.
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!
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
- rose 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.
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.
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”.
- Start by cooking the couscous inÂ vegetable brothÂ according to package instructions. You can use water, but the vegetable broth will add more flavor!
- 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.
- Then sauté the squash and the cornÂ and sauté for 1-2 more minutes and set aside.
- When the couscous is finished cooking, add the vinaigretteÂ 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.
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.
Want to try this Farmers’ Market Salad With Couscous?
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Farmer’s Market Couscous Salad Recipe
- 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
- 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.
- Sauté the squash in 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste for 2-3 minutes. Then add the corn and saute for 1-2 more minutes and set aside.
Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
- Whisk the dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil together in a small mixing bowl until fully combined.
- 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.