This delicious and mediterranean style couscous salad features puy lentils, lots of fresh tomatoes and arugula. Perfect for a healthy lunch or light dinner.

This delicious and mediterranean style couscous salad features puy lentils, lots of fresh tomatoes and arugula. Perfect for a healthy lunch or light dinner.

mediterranean couscous salad

Mediterranean couscous salad

I love simple and delicious salads like this mediterranean couscous salad. It’s not a quick salad as the flavors need to develop a bit for best results, but you can make this ahead of time and serve chilled in a large bowl for lunch or dinner. 

Now a little disclaimer cause I know couscous can be a sensitive subject and I am certainly no expert on Israeli couscous. So I just use the couscous that needs to soak up water or broth and is usually done in a few minutes.

​Lentils

But let’s start with the lentils that go into the couscous salad. I used puy lentils here. Those are the small French green lentils that are easy to make but you can also use brown lentils or black lentils. Even the red ones will definitely work. I cook the lentils for roughly 15 minutes (check package directions if you’re using other lentils. Once you have tender lentils I drain them and I mix the hot lentils with some vinegar and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool lentils while you prepare the couscous.

Preparing the couscous

You need about a cup couscous for this and you place the couscous in a small bowl. Or you could add it to a small saucepan. In that case add a bit more than 1 cups water to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Once boiling take of the heat and add the couscous. Now let the couscous stand for about 5 minutes and then fluff couscous with a fork. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and stir in a tablespoon of good quality extra virgin olive oil and let it cool down. Stir it with a fork a few times so it stays light and fluffy.

In a separate small bowl you add garlic paste, 2 tablespoon vinegar and 2 tablespoon oil. Mix it well and add this to the couscous together with the cooked lentils.

Now you are done with the main part and you let the couscous salad stand for about three hours or overnight in the fridge. Before serving let it come to room temperature and place in a serving bowl Add the cherry tomatoes and the arugula.

Crumble over the feta cheese and serve.

Mediterranean couscous salad

Additions and variations

While I love this simple Mediterranean couscous salad I like to vary a bit and adding finely chopped red onion is a good addition. I am not too fond of raw onions so I soak them first in a few tablespoons vinegar. You can use red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for this.

I also love adding some fresh herbs to the couscous salad. That can be anything from fresh parsley, fresh basil and fresh mint leaves to some fresh dill. Or a mix of all of the above. 

Another great addition would be some bell peppers. I usually go for the roasted variety if adding to the couscous salad as I love the flavor combination with the rest of the ingredients. You just mix the extra ingredients into the couscous-lentil mixture.

If you want you can also replace the regular couscous for chewy pearl couscous. That gives the Mediterranean couscous salad a bit of a different taste but still quite delicious.

You can also replace the feta with some crumbled blue cheese or add a cup kalamata olives.

Can you keep the lentil salad recipe overnight?

You can definitely keep this couscous salad overnight. For that you place it in an airtight container and you add the fresh ingredients later. You can already chop everything you need and just mix it together when you’re ready to eat.

Is this recipe gluten free?

No the mediterranean couscous salad is not gluten free. Couscous is made from wheat and is therefore not gluten free. You could replace the couscous with rice for a different variation to the recipe.

Do I really have to wait 3 hours before eating?

No you do not have to wait 3 hours, but it does enhance the flavors. That said; you can definitely enjoy the couscous salad right away.

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Mediterranean couscous salad
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Mediterranean couscous salad with lentils

Delicious and easy to make mediterranean couscous salad. It does get better if you leave it to stand for about three hours before eating
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup puy lentils
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic large, minced and mashed into a paste with 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint finely chopped
  • 1 bunch arugula rocket (stems discarded and leaves washed well, spun dry and chopped)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/4 lb feta crumbled

Instructions

  • In a small saucepan simmer lentils in water to cover by 2 inches until tender but not falling apart, 15 to 20 minutes, and drain well. Transfer hot lentils to a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cool lentils completely, stirring occasionally.
  • In a saucepan bring water to a boil and add couscous and salt. Remove pan from heat and let couscous stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil and cool completely, stirring occasionally.
  • In a small bowl whisk together garlic paste, remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir lentils and dressing into couscous. Chill salad, covered, at least 3 hours and up to 24.
  • Just before serving, stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper.
Course: Main, Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: couscous, lentils
Diet: vegetarian

Nutrition Information

Calories: 564kcal, Carbohydrates: 69g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 644mg, Potassium: 396mg, Fiber: 19g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 1393IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 252mg, Iron: 6mg

Disclaimer

The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.

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