Israeli Couscous & Green Lentil Salad

Don’t go to the grocery store hungry, they say. They’re totally right … but I do it anyway. All the time. Yesterday, I found myself at Whole Foods with a cart full of goodies I didn’t come for. Delicious samples + growling stomach = yikes at the checkstand.

But sometimes the result of hungry sampling is a good thing. Last week I found myself trying some Israeli Couscous and Lentil Salad at my beloved Central Market. It was so good I just had to make some as SOON as I got home. So I circled the grocery store, rounded up the ingredients, headed home, and made this.

You start with tender green lentils and springy Israeli couscous. Then you toss in salty kalamata olives, fresh Italian parsley, juicy cherry or grape tomatoes (I chose a yellow variety for this version), and chopped red onion. Stir it all together with a lemony balsamic vinegar dressing, then top with feta cheese.

The briny olives and salty feta are the perfect complement to the sweet tomatoes and zingy onions. The lentils just soak up all the wonderful flavors of the dressing – plus they stealthily give you a great kick of protein, helping to make this a complete meal all on its own. And I just love the texture the Israeli couscous brings to the table.

It’s especially good when you’re super-hungry, but also pretty dang delicious when you’re not.

Make ahead tip

For best flavor, let the salad sit in the fridge for awhile before serving. And it’s even better a day or two after making it.

Print Recipe

Israeli Couscous and Green Lentil Salad

Green lentils and Israeli couscous are the perfect pair, especially when joined by briny olives, salty feta, sweet tomatoes and zingy onions. Toss it together with a lemony balsamic vinaigrette and you've got this addictive salad.

Yield: 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 3/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with about six cups of water and bring to a boil. Rinse lentils under cold water then add to the saucepan. Return to a boil then reduce to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the couscous. Cook couscous and lentils together for an additional 10 minutes, until lentils are tender but not falling apart, and couscous is al dente.
  2. Strain lentils and couscous and rinse well with cold water. In a large bowl, toss together the lentils, couscous, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, and parsley.
  3. Make the dressing. In a blender or food processor, blend together the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, garlic cloves, sugar, and olive oil. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with feta cheese.
 

Recipe adapted from Town & Country Markets (salad) and Bon Appétit (balsamic dressing)

This post may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a portion of the proceeds.

   

5 Responses to “Israeli Couscous & Green Lentil Salad”

  1. yumgoggle posted on July 27, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Couscous salad is something I’d love to try…I think I am gonna add more feta cheese! Yum! I’ll keep that in mind, eat a bagel before doing grocery shopping ;)
    Anyhoo, we have been keeping an eye out for unique and interesting bloggers with phenomenal photography skills, and yours have caught our attention! We have just recently launched a food photo gallery http://www.yumgoggle.com/gallery/ that allows you to showcase all your great work and share it with all of our visitors. We’d be proud to have your work as part of our growing collection to continue to have a larger reach and further inspire all fellow food lovers out there!

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  5. Kristin posted on April 13, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you for this recipe– it is fantastic! I’ve made it a few times and it always comes out great. This last time, I caramelized sweet onions and used regular couscous, and it worked just as well.

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