Recipes

Couscous Arugula Salad with Halloumi and Yogurt Dressing

February 4, 2021

A delicious and fresh couscous arugula salad marinated in a shallot vinaigrette topped with a yogurt dressing and grilled halloumi that’s super simple to make and full of vibrant flavors. This salad is so easy to make ahead and can be topped with any protein of choice. The perfect dish to mix things up and try something new!

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This couscous recipe is one of my favorites since it’s extremely easy to make, very customizable, and a little different than your everyday salad. I see it as a fusion dish since I borrow a lot of flavors from different types of cuisines, but everything blends so well together!

Ingredients

  • Israeli or pearl couscous: I prefer Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous. The size is bigger than typical couscous and it has a great chewy texture. It reminds me of tiny al dente pasta pieces! It’s a little harder to find than regular couscous but I’ve been able to buy it from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.
  • Arugula: I love the slightly bitter and spicy kick that arugula has, but this would be great over spinach or mixed greens too if arugula isn’t your thing.
  • Raisins: I love Moroccan couscous dishes that include raisins, so I had to add them to this salad. It gives this subtle burst of sweetness and adds dimension to the flavors. I try to soak my raisins beforehand in water if I know I’m going to make this dish. If you forget to soak earlier in the day, even letting it sit in a bowl of water while you prepare the other ingredients and then tossing it into the mixture last minute helps plump them up.
  • Shallot vinaigrette: This vinaigrette is one that I typically love using in my no-mayo pasta salads. It keeps in the fridge well after tossing together and helps balance out the richness of the yogurt dressing.
  • Yogurt dressing: This yogurt dressing is similar to a quick makeshift raita. It really helps brighten the dish while adding a creamy and binding component. It’s great to balance out the saltiness of halloumi cheese, but also tastes great on chicken or whatever protein you decide to use.
  • Halloumi: I love grilling halloumi cheese because it’s not as common and adds that something special, especially when company is over. I try to grill the halloumi right before serving as halloumi can taste a little rubbery if you let it cool all the way down. I find halloumi cheese at Sprouts, Whole Foods, and seasonally at Trader Joe’s. Feel free to substitute chicken or tofu if that’s more your style — it’ll still be so tasty!

If you haven’t cooked Israeli or pearl couscous before, it’s actually super simple. See below for step-by-step instructions on how I cook couscous on the stove.

In a sauce pan or skillet with a lid, saute 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1 1/3 cups of Israeli couscous over medium heat until couscous is lightly golden brown (~5 minutes).

The couscous will look like this once it’s golden brown. Not all the pieces will be the same color and that’s ok!

Carefully add in 1 3/4 cups of hot or boiling water, give the pot a stir so nothing is sticking to the bottom, and bring up to a simmer.

Adding hot water will create a lot of immediate steam so be careful!!

Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and let cook for 11-12 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.

Once the couscous is done cooking, remove the lid, turn off the heat, and set it aside to let it cool down to warm or room temperature.

Couscous Arugula Salad with Halloumi and Yogurt Dressing

 


Tiffany AngelaAuthorTiffany AngelaCategoryDifficultyIntermediate


A delicious and fresh couscous arugula salad marinated in a shallot vinaigrette topped with a yogurt dressing and grilled halloumi that's super simple to make and full of vibrant flavors. This salad is so easy to make ahead and can be topped with any protein of choice. The perfect dish to mix things up and try something new!

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time15 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr


Couscous Arugula Salad
 8 oz (1 1/3 cups) Israeli couscous
 8.80 oz Halloumi cheese, cut into 1/2" slices
 3 oz arugula
 1 shallot, finely diced
 ¼ cup raisins, soaked and drained
 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 1 tsp white granulated sugar
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 ½ tsp cumin
 ¼ tsp salt
 ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Yogurt Dressing
 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
 ½ cup cucumber, grated or finely diced
 1 shallot, finely diced
 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
  tsp cumin
  tsp coriander
  tsp salt

Directions
1

In a sauce pan or skillet with a lid, saute 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1 1/3 cups of Israeli couscous over medium heat until couscous is lightly golden brown (~5 minutes). Carefully add in 1 3/4 cups of hot or boiling water, give the pot a stir so nothing is sticking to the bottom, and bring up to a simmer. Adding hot water will create a lot of immediate steam so be careful!! Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and let cook for 11-12 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.

Once the couscous is done cooking, turn off the heat and set it aside to let it cool down to warm or room temperature.

2

While the couscous is cooking and cooling, make the two dressings.

Couscous Arugula Salad Dressing
3

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 finely diced shallot, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside.

Yogurt Dressing
4

In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of whole milk plain yogurt, 1/2 cup of finely diced or grated cucumber, 1 finely diced shallot, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves, 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp coriander, and 1/8 tsp salt. Place back into the refrigerator until everything is ready to serve.

Assembly
5

To assemble, toss together the 3 oz arugula, 1/4 cup of raisins, warm or room temperature couscous, and the couscous arugula salad dressing.

Directions (continued)
6

Once everything else is ready and it's almost time to eat, heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a small nonstick skillet. Once the skillet is hot, grill each slice of halloumi for about 1 minute per side.

7

Top the salad with yogurt dressing and the grilled halloumi. Serve immediately!

Ingredients

Couscous Arugula Salad
 8 oz (1 1/3 cups) Israeli couscous
 8.80 oz Halloumi cheese, cut into 1/2" slices
 3 oz arugula
 1 shallot, finely diced
 ¼ cup raisins, soaked and drained
 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 1 tsp white granulated sugar
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 ½ tsp cumin
 ¼ tsp salt
 ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Yogurt Dressing
 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
 ½ cup cucumber, grated or finely diced
 1 shallot, finely diced
 2 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
  tsp cumin
  tsp coriander
  tsp salt

Directions

Directions
1

In a sauce pan or skillet with a lid, saute 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1 1/3 cups of Israeli couscous over medium heat until couscous is lightly golden brown (~5 minutes). Carefully add in 1 3/4 cups of hot or boiling water, give the pot a stir so nothing is sticking to the bottom, and bring up to a simmer. Adding hot water will create a lot of immediate steam so be careful!! Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and let cook for 11-12 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.

Once the couscous is done cooking, turn off the heat and set it aside to let it cool down to warm or room temperature.

2

While the couscous is cooking and cooling, make the two dressings.

Couscous Arugula Salad Dressing
3

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 finely diced shallot, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Set aside.

Yogurt Dressing
4

In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of whole milk plain yogurt, 1/2 cup of finely diced or grated cucumber, 1 finely diced shallot, 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves, 1/8 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp coriander, and 1/8 tsp salt. Place back into the refrigerator until everything is ready to serve.

Assembly
5

To assemble, toss together the 3 oz arugula, 1/4 cup of raisins, warm or room temperature couscous, and the couscous arugula salad dressing.

Directions (continued)
6

Once everything else is ready and it's almost time to eat, heat up 1 tbsp of oil in a small nonstick skillet. Once the skillet is hot, grill each slice of halloumi for about 1 minute per side.

7

Top the salad with yogurt dressing and the grilled halloumi. Serve immediately!

Couscous Arugula Salad with Halloumi and Yogurt Dressing

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