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Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables Recipe

Israeli Couscous Salad with Summer Vegetables Recipe

Served warm or chilled, this recipe makes a sensational side dish. You can find Israeli couscous in most large natural foods stores. Unlike the more familiar Moroccan couscous, which consists of tiny golden pellets of dried semolina pasta, the Israeli version used in this recipe is larger, resembling uncooked pearl tapioca. To make a bigger meal of this salad, simply add fresh grilled sea bass, salmon, or chicken. This recipe comes from the kitchen of Jeffrey Nathan, executive chef and co-owner of the kosher restaurant Abigael's in New York City, and author of "Adventures in Jewish Cooking" (Clarkson Potter).


  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow squash
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (not Moroccan)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons pure chili pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper (1/4-inch dice)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the zucchini and yellow squash and cook just until tender but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Scoop the vegetables out of the water with a sieve, reserving the boiling water. Rinse them under cold water and set them aside.
  2. Add the couscous to the boiling water and cook it until tender (10 minutes or more). Drain the couscous. Rinse it well with cold running water, then drain it well again.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and chili pepper powder. Gradually whisk in the oil. Mix in the couscous, reserved vegetables, cilantro, and parsley. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until chilled. This salad can be prepared a day ahead; just reseason with lime juice, salt, and pepper before serving. Serves 12.