Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella
Gluten Free,  Recipes,  Soups, Salads, & Sandwiches,  Vegetarian

Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella

This colorful  salad made for a simple, make-ahead dinner a few weeks ago. Things have been hectic at home, and I needed something that I could make during my toddler’s nap time that we could all enjoy in the evening.

This salad was nice and fresh. The smoked paprika in the background was wonderful. I couldn’t find fresh basil at the store that week, so I used mint, and it was nice and different.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella

This would be great served with some grilled salmon or chicken. I topped each serving with a sliced, hard-boiled egg to make it more filling. My son loved slicing up the Easter eggs that he colored for that part 🙂

Israeli Couscous Salad with Smoked Paprika, Tomatoes, and Mozzarella
A Hint of Honey (adapted from Food Network)

1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/3 cups (8 oz.) Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous or maftoul (whole wheat if you can find it)*
generous pinch salt
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves, chopped
12 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, cubed (or 4 oz. feta, crumbled)
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and diced
1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped (or fresh mint)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1. To make the coucous, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Cook the couscous, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water and the salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the couscous is just tender and the liquid is absorbed, 9 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. To make the dressing, whisk the oil, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl until smooth.

3. Mix together the spinach, tomatoes, cheese, peppers, parsley, almonds and basil in a large bowl. Add the couscous and the dressing. Toss until all the ingredients are coated. Season to taste with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed. Transfer to a large serving bowl and serve. (Can be prepared ahead of time and served chilled.)

Serves 6-8.

*Optional: use Gluten Free

Big Flavors Rating: 4 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


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