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spanning three seasons in two weeks

Recipe: israeli couscous salad

I’m quite present when it comes to the weather. I spend a fair bit of time outside and what goes on overhead has bearing on much of what I do on a daily basis. Right now, I’m in the San Juan Mountains shooting the fall colors (I think this is the most stunning part of the state in autumn – just unbelievable), trying to stay out of the way of this Pacific winter storm that’s barreling through the region, and watching the radar loop. They are predicting up to a foot of snow in the mountains by Friday morning.

snapshot from the road outside of crested butte – rainstorm approaching

such an abundance of colors this year

shades of rust in the brush

The hills are crawling with photogs, enthusiasts, and (leaf) peepers alike – a generally friendly bunch. I was chatting with a delightful couple from Louisiana who have been hitting the Colorado fall colors now for 20 years. We were wondering when that winter storm would arrive when she exclaimed, “And can you believe it was in the 80s last week?!” That jolted me out of my “fall-borderline-winter-why-didn’t-I-bring-my-skis?” mode. Oh yeah, summer…

hard to remember summer with snow in the side-view mirror

this is a dusting, the storm hadn’t even arrived yet

I missed the very last Wednesday Boulder Farmers’ Market of the season because I’m on the road this week. That makes me sad. It means the corn, the tomatoes, the peaches, the greens, are going away. By November, our Saturday market will be done. This summer, I often threw together a quick couscous salad to use up any tomatoes and corn so I could go to the market and load up on even more. Now there is couscous and then there is Israeli couscous. I’ve had Israeli couscous in restaurants before and I love the texture. I finally bought some from the Whole Foods bulk section early in the summer.

israeli couscous before cooking

gather some corn, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and parsley

I didn’t know how to prepare it, but I figured that having purchased a bag would force me to figure out how to cook it. It is ridiculously easy to cook. It’s basically pasta, so you boil it in water. I love the pearly bites, the way it mixes well with other ingredients, and that it is totally scoopable. You can add any combination of ingredients to the couscous. Since it was summer, I chose what was abundant in the markets.

trim the corn kernels off the cob (carefully)

quick sauté of the corn

diced tomato and cucumber

Quick and simple is always welcome as long as it’s good. I have a fear of messing up great summer produce by overworking it – doing too much to it. Just let them do their job. It’s less work for you and in the end, everyone wins.

place it in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil

toss with minced parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon juice

add more lemon juice to taste

I’m sure I could get my hands on the last dribbles of the harvest to make this again, but I’m also a little excited to autumnize and winterize it. But for those of you hankering to hold on to summer just a little longer or those of you not expecting a foot of snow this week, this should do you right.

enjoy your bowl of summer

Israeli Couscous Salad
[print recipe]

1 cup Israeli couscous
1 cob of corn
vegetable oil
1 medium English or 3 Persian cucumbers
2 medium tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup feta
olive oil
1 lemon, juice of

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan (you can salt the water, but I forgot to!). Pour the couscous into the boiling water and cook until the pasta is tender. It took mine about 7 minutes. Drain the couscous and rinse in cold water, then place in a large mixing bowl. Slice the kernels off the corn cob (be really really really careful, please) and sauté the kernels in a little vegetable oil over high heat for a minute or two. Add the corn to the couscous. Dice the cucumbers and tomatoes (medium dice – 1/2-inch sides). Add the tomatoes, cucumber, and feta to the couscous. Drizzle some olive oil over the salad. Add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust to your liking. Serves 6-8 as a side salad.

23 nibbles at “spanning three seasons in two weeks”

  1. Melissa says:

    Corn, tomatoes, sometimes eggplant, cucumbers, herbs on top of a healthy grain was my go to all summer, too. I only this year started cooking with Israeli couscous, regular couscous and bulgur and I am sad I waited so long. Love love love so much.

    That picture in the rear view is killer.

  2. Dena says:

    I love to “autumnize” it with butternut squash, dried cranberries, raisins and pistachios or pine nuts.

  3. james says:

    just had a great “fall” israeli couscous salad at whole foods and I noted the ingreds: currants, cranberries, butternut squash, shallots, fennel, sage, apple juice (forgot a few minor ones..)

  4. Katherine says:

    Your food blog is soo delicious!! The pictures are beautiful as well!! I def love that rear view picture!!

  5. TheKitchenWitch says:

    I made something similar last week! I love the bulk section of Whole Foods. Stay safe and out of the storm!

  6. Margie says:

    Beautiful photo’s, lovely salad. I’d give a pretty penny for those heirloom tomatoes. The drought left us wanting.

  7. barbara says:

    Fabulous summer salad jen. We call it pearl couscous here. I’ve made a pearl couscous risotto with it. I look forward to trying your recipe once summer hits her. xoxo

  8. brenda s 'okie in colorado' says:

    I LOVE Israeli couscous! And I love feta and fresh veggies. Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to make this for dinner tomorrow!

  9. Kitt says:

    The last time I made big couscous like that, I geeked out and did the triple steaming. It turned out great, but really, I don’t have the patience to do it very often. I’ve got some tomatoes right here, so I’ll try your way this weekend!

  10. thewritinghouse says:

    That looks so blimin good. I especially love the photo with the drip of lemon juice starting to fall! I am going to make this with summer on it’s way down in this part of the world.

  11. Yummy Morsel says:

    Lovely blog and photos! Esp. the rear view mirror photo. The salad look light and refreshing.

  12. serenitysoap says:

    It looked so good…Made it just the way you did, delicious. So hard to find vegetarian recipes that taste good and fill you up. Part of my collection now…Thanks, love the photos too, you are blessed with talent…

  13. geet says:

    Hi, love your blog and absolutely love the scenery pictures. They are breathtaking. Just love Colorado. Cant wait to go there for summer.

  14. MaryW says:

    Where does one get Israeli Couscous?

  15. jenyu says:

    Mary W – I got mine from the bulk section at Whole Foods.

  16. jenyu says:

    Melissa – I know, I am the same way. But at least I’m on it now.

    Dena – that’s my next plan!

    james – sounds lovely :)

    Katherine – thank you.

    TKW – me too!!

    Margie – :(

    barbara – yes, I’ve seen it called that too – I just love it! Happy that summer is coming around for you all. Summer in Oz – is there anything more fitting?

    brenda – you’re welcome

    Kitt – I wonder if there is a big difference? I’m too lazy to triple steam ;)

    thewritinghouse – yay summer!!

    Yummy Morsel – thanks :)

    serenitysoap – I know. I eat meat, but I am always on the look out for great vegetarian recipes – you can never have enough!

    geet – thank you!

  17. julie b says:

    My daughter has just returned from New York after her second trip away (long distance love affairs are expensive)!
    She raved about Israeli cous cous dishes that her future mother in law makes. so having tracked a supplier down in our hometown, Perth Australia, we will be trying your summer recipe out this week.
    The photography makes it look delish!

  18. Marlene says:

    Where did you source Israeli couscous in Perth? I need some for a salad this Christmas, can’t remember where I bought it from this time last year….

  19. Josie says:

    You can get this at IGA stores-I know that it is In the Swan View store.

  20. Sara says:

    Awesome recipe. I shall try it this weekend. I was just reading a recipe on growing my own tomatoes so this is another recipe I can use them in.

    Thanks for sharing,


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  23. Kea says:

    I made this several months ago for my baby shower and it was huge hit! I make more for myself this weekend!
    Thanks for sharing!

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