Mediterranean Fried Couscous Salad

Summer cooking is a special pleasure for cooks who like to keep it simple. Fresh tasting vegetables, lightly grilled meat or fish and a refreshing glass of iced tea with mint or a crisp light wine make a perfect summer lunch or dinner.

Here is a salad that can be served as a main course or a side dish depending on the temperature and your appetite. The fried couscous is a crunchy, chewy, satisfying base for all kinds of ingredients and dressings—so you can use your imagination and clean out your vegetable bin, and shop your pantry or the farmer’s market—and get wonderful results every time. Here is my favorite combination (so far), but I’d love to hear yours—so leave me a comment if you try something different!

Mediterranean Fried Couscous Salad

Serves 4


For the Salad:

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 ¼ cups couscous
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan
1 ripe red tomato, seeded and finely diced
10 black olives chopped,
2 ribs celery, finely diced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh basil, sliced julienne
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing;

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the couscous, cover the pan and let it sit for 5 minutes until the couscous is soft and the liquid is completely absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat ¼ cup of olive oil. Add the crushed garlic and sauté until the garlic is golden brown. Remove the garlic and discard it. Fluff the finished couscous with a fork and add it to the skillet. Raise the heat to medium high and stir the couscous until the oil is evenly distributed through the couscous, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the couscous is golden brown. (It should sizzle a bit as you do this) Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.

Add the Parmesan cheese, tomato, black olives, celery, and green onions and stir to combine. Whisk together the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, the lemon juice and black pepper and pour over the salad. Stir to combine. Just before serving add the basil and the goat cheese crumbles. Serve at room temperature.

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2 Responses to Mediterranean Fried Couscous Salad

  1. Virginia West Roth says:

    Hi Sue!!

    How’s my friend? I am going to try this salad very soon..All your food does,actually.

    Well,just wanted to drop you a quick hello!


  2. Susan says:

    Virginia, what a nice surprise to hear from you–thanks for the quick hello–I’ll email soon with an update.

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