Israeli Couscous Salad with Zucchini, Mozzarella, & Tomatoes
This Israeli couscous salad with zucchini, mozzarella, and tomatoes is hearty and full of bright flavors. It's a delicious side dish or lunch option.
Israeli couscous (called "ptitim" in Hebrew and also sometimes pearl couscous) is a small toasted pasta that tastes quite similar to orzo pasta. It was developed in the 1950's in Israel, when rice was scarce. If you can't find Israeli couscous, I recommend making this recipe with orzo or another small pasta like ditalini.
The vegetables in this dish can be quite flexible - add in more zucchini if you'd like or substitute it for eggplant or other squash. Toss in other herbs or add in some spinach. Just do give yourself the time to really toast the couscous - it adds such a deep flavor.
I hope you enjoy this simple recipe!
Israeli Couscous Salad
Makes 6 side salad servings | Prep Time: 5 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
1 1/3 cup Israeli couscous
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium zucchini, sliced into medallions
15 cherry tomatoes
4 ounces baby mozzarella balls, cut in half
2 tablespoons diced chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).
In a 2-quart saucepan, heat the couscous and one tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat for 5 minutes, toasting the couscous. Stir often.
Add 1 3/4 boiling water to the couscous. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Let simmer, covered, for 12 minutes, or until all the water is evaporated.
Meanwhile, coat zucchini and tomatoes in a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on a jelly roll pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have burst and the zucchini is lightly browned.
Combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
Combine the couscous, vegetables, mozzarella, and vinaigrette in a large bowl. Garnish with the herbs and drizzle the balsamic glaze across the top.