pearly-whites Recipes

pearl couscous with olives and roasted tomatoes

I’ve had a minor fixation with Israeli couscous, the larger, more pearl-like variety of couscous, since my first year of graduate school. A friend of one of my housemates who was working as a live-in nanny-slash-cook for a wealthy family in Bethesda, brought over some leftovers from the family’s dinner and what was this? This smattering of white polka dots through a tangle of greens and vegetables? You call it couscous, too? Why has nobody told me about this before!

pre-roasting

Of course, back then I could barely find it anywhere, except occasionally at the Fresh Fields in upper Georgetown where they had those bins which I still miss today when I’m forced to buy half a pound of pecans when I need a half-cup. But even there, Israeli couscous was something of an enigma.

post-roasting

Nowadays I can find it in a lot of stores, but I feel less good about eating it. Couscous, a fact that seems to repeatedly surprise my husband (namely because he hasn’t listened the first four times I told him, I’m just saying) is not a whole grain, in fact, its closer to a pasta than anything else, formed from semolina flour. In practically any dish that you see couscous, a grain such as quinoa, bulgur or barley could be easily replaced for added nutrients and fiber, and while we often do, I just can’t be so earnest every night. I was missing my couscous.

israeli couscous

I have only three tried-and-true Israeli couscous dishes, the first, with roasted butternut squash and lemon, and was my standby carry-along to Thanksgiving dinner all those years I was a vegetarian and had no issue repeating the same recipe dozens of times. The second recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey, including morels and asparagus and is a total delight. And the third, well, I confess that the third is store-bought, a salad with dried cranberries, pecans, saffron and green onions from Whole Foods that I have yet to try to make at home.

cooked and cooling

Yet, it being not butternut squash, asparagus nor cranberry season and my craving for Israeli couscous was unremitting, I was forced to seek out something more weather befitting last night and ding-ding! I believe we have a new winner. Cherry or grape tomatoes are slow-roasted for an hour at a low temperature (ideal for the summer, as it will not offset your a/c’s goodness) with whole cloves of garlic. Tomatoes, when roasted, take on a deeper, more pronounced flavor, far from the artificial pungency of sun dried tomatoes, but more intense than the fresh, fruity variety. The roasted garlic is pureed with a handful of the tomatoes to make a dressing. The couscous is soaked in broth, and then minced thyme, mint and parsley are added in along with black olives. The olives amplify the flavor, without dominating, as do the array of herbs.

With a greens salad or a piece of meat or fish, dinner is most splendidly served and I get to sink my pearly whites into their chewy goodness, seasonally and enthusiastically, once again.

salad

Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes
Gourmet, September 2002

Makes 6 servings

For roasted tomatoes and dressing
2 pt red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 lb)
3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For couscous
2 3/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Roast tomatoes and make dressing:
Preheat oven to 250°F.

Halve tomatoes through stem ends and arrange, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan. Add garlic to pan and roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 30 minutes.

Peel garlic and puree with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth.

Make couscous: Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and stir in couscous, then simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.

Spread couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and cool 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

Do ahead: Roasted tomatoes, dressing, and couscous can be made 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New here? You might want to check out the comment guidelines before chiming in.

109 comments on pearl couscous with olives and roasted tomatoes

  1. This is lovely and perfect for the weather. We’ve got our minds on tabouleh tonight! I share your guilt in eating couscous nowadays and try to use barley, cracked wheat, or quinoa. But sometimes, you just have to have the real deal.

  2. Oh my, that looks amazing! Do you find that “acine de pepe” is a suitable substitute for Israeli couscous? Sometimes cookbooks will say it’s fine to use in place of Israeli couscous, but since I’ve never had Israeli coucous, I have no idea. My grandmother always made “pastina soup” with it and because I can’t find Israeli couscous, I just use this instead. In your opinion, does it match up?

  3. You know, I haven’t tried acine de pepe yet, mostly because I find it fairly east to get pearl couscous. But, I bet it would be a great substitute. In fact, if it comes in whole wheat (something I don’t like in pasta but would forgive in couscous), I might even try it sooner.

  4. I have a great curried couscous salad recipe that I’ve used these big guys for. It’s got slivered almonds, currants, grated carrots, red onions, lots of parsley and a sauce of yogurt, olive oil, garlic, s&p, turmeric and curry powder. It’s so good, we served it at our wedding!

  5. Deb, do you have any good recipes for peanut butter cookies? Also, something lemony and coconuty that would be appropriate for a birthday? Thanks!

  6. Uh YUM! I’m even willing to put up with the olives. I love couscous and one of my staple dishes while in North Carolina is a dish with couscous, veggies and shrimp. Another recipe for the archives.

    Oh, have you ever tried it with wilted spinach and toasted pine nuts with a bit of olive oil? Heaven!

  7. I too am infatuated with israeli couscous, Deb. I still have a hard time finding it here in Philly. Only one speciality market carries it, that I know of and it’s not close to home. But I still make a special trip just to stock up once in awhile. I’ll give the recipe a try very soon.

  8. I love this recipe – being not so much of an olive fan, I omit them, and sometimes swap in cucumber or spinach instead … once I even added chickpeas! It’s all quite delish.

  9. Wow. That looks amazing. I’m going to have to start looking until I find the evasive Israeli couscous. I wonder if the Arab grocery store would have it…

  10. Drat. If only my husband’s “too tomato-y” rule didn’t eliminate this one from the “to try” file.

    In other news, vicarious puppy pictures are available for perusing over in my neck of the woods. We brought him home last night and I’m still wrapping my head around it.

  11. People, I warn you, unless you are stronger-willed and less susceptible to whimpering out loud whilst at work at the cuteness of a puppy, be careful before clicking over to RA’s Flickr stream. Because, ack, that baby Westie makes Alex and my leash hand’s ache with emptiness and now we HAVE to go to the puppy store on the way home OR ELSE.

    Jessica — Luisa sent me this “haute nutter butter” recipe from Thomas Keller this week (and no, David Lebovitz, it still didn’t convince me to help her pack) but I have yet to get to it. I don’t yet have my Perfect peanut butter cookie recipe, but I do have a lot great inspiration.

  12. OH, MY, I bought some Israeli couscous at the health food store on clearance. It was SO good!!!! I have had a hard time finding recipes to use it in, but this looks great. I will definately try it out.

  13. I love pearl couscous, and that butternut squash/lemon recipe has been one of my staples also! In my experience it’s quite easy to find in most groceries. All the Arabs I know would take issue with the Israeli label, since the couscous has existed much longer. It’s actually comes from a traditional Lebanese ingredient, and it’s called moghrabbiya (the word maghreb means morocco, so it was sort of like the Lebanese mixed-up attempt to copy the Moroccans). The classic Lebanese preparation involved braised pearl onions, chickpeas and cinnamon, and traditionally with chicken, though you can use lamb or omit the meat (see here. Your version looks delicious!

  14. That looks absolutely amazing! I have not had Israeli couscous in years! We used to make it at the catering company I worked for. It just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside! I will definitely be trying this recipe soon!

  15. I share your fixation with the big bubbly couscous–and the sad guilt that I am not eating some health redeeming whole grain (shouldn’t it be a whole grain? It looks so much like one). I only fell for its charms last year–when I would make it just to eat it plain because that texture made me almost giggly.

    The first time I had it was topped with ratatouille–which certainly is in season right now. Don’t you think all those good veggies would redeem the use of a little semolina flour?

  16. We used to have a Fresh Fields store near me when I was little, but then Whole Foods bought it and we could no longer afford to regularly shop there anymore. That was nearly a decade ago, back when I believed fruit leathers and granola bars were truly candy (they really are!) and I hadn’t yet been corrupted by my grandmother and bologna.

  17. funny how things work out…i was yearnin’ for some israeli couscous the other day and bought a bunch too! i must say, your roasted tomato addition sounds great!

  18. That looks so tasty. I might go all out and throw in a bit of Israeli sheep’s milk feta because I love that stuff beyond all reason and will put it anywhere I think it could get along. And it looks perfect here. I will have my very own home grown grape tomatoes by next week if the weather holds and this dish looks like a perfect way to welcome them. Thanks!

    Oma–I’d love to see your recipe. That sounds wonderful, too!

  19. This recipe looks similar to one that I make, but I’ve never roasted the tomatoes, I’m going to try it (it’s feel more like I’ve actually cooked something for dinner, and I bet it’s make it better). THANK YOU for the nutter butter reminder (I earmarked that one a while ago and then somehow forgot). Those are my husband’s favorite cookies and he only eats them about twice a year (because I do the shopping, ha). If I could make something at home that would make him just as happy I think he might just drool.

    My solution to the whole wheat, not whole wheat question: eat whole grains at breakfast and lunch, don’t worry about it so much at dinner time. My motto: no guilt.

  20. Magpie Ima beat me to it. I was going to suggest tossing in some crumbled feta, because the flavor goes so beautifully with what you already have. I have made a far simpler couscous and cherry tomato salad, but never thought of roasting the tomatoes first, even though I *love* oven-roasted tomatoes. I will definitely be trying this sometime this summer!

  21. Oh, that sounds AMAZING. I have to find some of this Israeli couscous and get on making this, because I’m drooling looking at these pictures. Seriously, I love you for this recipe without even trying it.

  22. I’m going to work on some new ideas with all this inspiration, but so far my favourite pearl couscous recipe involves tossing it, cold, with lots of chopped cilantro and tomatoes, with a little red onion thrown in too. I dress it with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Simple but fresh and delish with almost anything grilled!

  23. Delicious! I tend to make the same things over and over with Israeli couscous, too, but it’s hard to resist all of those beautiful cherry tomatoes that are at the farmers’ markets now. A mix of red and gold tomatoes would be lovely in this salad. And yes, feta!

  24. Thanks for this one Deb, I’m going to try it this week. I bought some Israeli couscous in a fit of inspiration a few months ago and still haven’t used it. I keep reading complaints about it being gummy and so I’ve been afraid to try it out and be disappointed. Yay!

  25. Beautiful summer salad- would be VERY well received at a skybar BBQ. I’m also extremely jealous of the marco lens! I need to get one.

  26. ok – it’s official
    i love you
    or maybe it’s just the proverbial cyber you
    anyway
    it could just be this recipe
    which i wanna try really soon
    signed,
    your new best reader

  27. I did a double take when I saw your tomato couscous photo. I made a fresh tomato and grilled corn salad with basil that from a distance or photo looks almost the same (small pale fresh corn kernels). I will confess I miss the ease of couscous now that I know I am gluten intolerant, but do try to sub in quinoa when I have a couscous moment. As far as your love of cherries goes, I love them too and am lucky to be from a cherry farm in Northern Michigan and it is cherry season right now! Great blog!

  28. Oh, I love Israeli couscous. It’s just so hard to find; when I do see it, I end up hoarding it. Now why do they make something so good so hard to find?
    As to whoever asked about a peanut butter cookie recipe, I’ve been mesmerized by the easiness of this one — 1 cup peanut buter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg. That’s all! Beware because they burn easily. Sprinkling with a touch of cayenne adds a nice touch too.

  29. I’ve not had Israeli couscous, but it sounds worth seeking out. Toni over at Daily Bread Journal introduced me to the idea of having couscous play a supporting role with other ingredients taking the lead. Specifically chickpeas, in her case. A whole new way to think of couscous!

  30. I have been searching high and low for Israeli Cous Cous. What surprises me is even Williams Sonoma doesn’t carry it!!!

    At my local supermarket, there’s a $23 box of it, is there anywhere I can go where I can buy it for the regular cost of cous cous???

  31. Dear Smitten–I love you too–made this yesterday while my husband finished painting the dining room–I helped–you know, a little (he has a much steadier hand then me–there is no way I can brush in near the baseboard without masking tape–he can–excuse the digression)–but isn’t it a much bigger help to make yummy food? I quoted Virginia Woolfe–about needing good food to do good work. Made several things over the weekend while he painted. Also made the indian trio last weekend–all delicious. I’m cooking my way through your past posts.

    As for this recipe–Tabitha–I bought my Israeli couscous at our local Philadelphia “Nuts to You” store for $1.89 for a pound. I’m pretty sure they sell it loose at Whole Foods. And–I did the spread it out while it cools step–but why is that necessary? To stop the cooking time? Or to keep it from sticking? Could you not just run cold water over it and then toss with the last tablespoon of olive oil and the sauce? Love your blog!!!

  32. This is a great recipe! We loved it. I was inspired to make it because of your beautiful pictures. I can’t wait to try more of your recipes. Thank you :)

  33. Mmmmm this is some good stuff. I have to admit that I altered it just a wee bit – no parsley (gasp! – didn’t have any fresh!) so I used basil instead. Which I personally found quite agreeable. I also roasted some heirloom tomatoes to use in the sauce cause they were going to go to waste otherwise. Oh and after a recent meal of Penne Puttanseca, I think I might try adding anchovies to this the next time I make it. Loved it!

  34. OK – this is WAAAY old now, but I had to note that I found a Hearty Grains mix at Trader Joe’s that was primarily Israeli Couscous, but also had yellow lentils, red quinoa, mini garbanzos and some other things thrown in. I just used the whole package for this recipe and the proportions are fine. It alleviated some of the “not eating any whole grains” guilt and the other things weren’t at all distracting (to me!). This is a WONDERFUL dish – and thank you for your blog -I’m not a sweets lover, but I’m working my way through all your savory recipes and I have yet to find one I don’t like.

  35. I tried my hand at making this recipe today on this blustery cold stark winter day here in Brooklyn. My pantry was beckoning me I needed to make room for more Nutella and other vices so out came the Israeli Couscous and anything else I could grab. I made way to the grocery store, pummeled my way through the people, and got everything I needed to make this recipe work. I did indeed successfully make this and wanted to say thanks for saving my night. My girlfriend and I also made those peanut butter brownies yesterday for a friend birthday and for countless nights to come which indeed were a huge treat! All the best!

  36. It was a tomato themed weekend. In addition to the tomato and green bean salad I had also made this one. I was able to make each part of this recipe the day before and Saturday morning mixed it all together. I have some extra of the dressing that I think will go well with some pasta.

  37. I had dish at a Bar Mitzvah recently that was pretty nice. It was an israeli couscous salad with just a touch of orzo, yellow split peas, quinoa mixed with diced red onion, cucumber, and tomatoes, sliced basil, chopped parsley, s + p probably a sherry vinaigrette of some sort, sounds pretty basic but with the split peas giving it a nice toothsome crunch and the quinoa was a nice surprise to boot. Nice side salad for the chicken roulade they served.

  38. I just made this tonight, except I used orzo. It was really good! Thanks for the great recipe. I really like your site and the things you make look lovely. I also really like Israeli couscous, though it’s hard to find in Minnesota. Giada makes a recipe with it with dried cranberries, almonds, mint, basil that’s great too.

  39. Love Israeli Couscous! Making it today for Father’s Day. BF is like a dad to my dog… LOL. Spoils him rotten.

    Happy Father’s Day to all the good daddies out there!

  40. We made this last year and might just have to make it again this year, since we have a cherry tomato plant now. I remember thinking it tasted like fancy Spaghetti-O’s :-)

  41. This was really good, made it last night for a side dish. My favorite part were the roasted grape tomatoes..so delish! Thanks!

  42. loved this recipe! made it for the fam after arriving home from college! my dad licked his plate after griping he hates couscous because it’s normally made so blandly by my mom! i made him a believer. i added chopped scallions and cilantro to this recipe. i am also wondering though, like sassy j, why you need to spread it on the baking pan for 15 minutes? never have done this with other couscous recipes… either way, it was fabulous! thank you so much!

  43. Great recipe! I used maghribiyeh instead of israeli couscous since that’s what dh brought home. Wonderful combination of flavors and it’ll be great for packing lunches.

  44. I was dreaming about this couscous and decided to make this recipe. It was sooo yummy and we grilled (yes, in cold janvier but with an indoor griddle grill) with garlic shrimp atop rosemary springs… abso fabu. Cannot wait to have this in the summer with fresh grilled zucchini!

  45. Delicious! Even my husband (who doesn’t like couscous) really enjoyed this. I added a bit of feta as some of the comments suggested and it was a really nice touch!

  46. Thanks for sharing this recipe. It was amazing!!! I’ve never had Israeli couscous before but had to try it as it looked yummy in your pics. The couscous was so soft … really loved the texture. I also loved the taste of the tomatoes. I love tomatoes but roasting really does heighten the flavour! Now I need to try & get some more couscous locally.

  47. To Bernadette, You can find “Israeli” Couscous at any Palestinian/Lebanese oriented Arabic markets under the name “maftoul” or ma. I use a really great organic, fair trade whole wheat version of the couscous under the name Sun-dried “Palestinian” Couscous (who knows what is right! ha), from a local Arab grocery here.

  48. This looks delicious. I have made the Israeli couscous salad with asparagus, cucumber and black olives from the June 2006 issue of Bon Appetit several times and I highly recommend it. It has also has scallions, mint and a lemon vinaigrette and is so fresh and satisfying.

  49. Looks like a party in a bowl, Deb. Very tasty; thank you. Will go beautifully with the soft shell crabs I’m springing for in 2 weeks for my next dinner party.

  50. I made this on Saturday for a farewell party and finished the remains for lunch this morning. So good! Thanks Deb.

  51. Made it for my dinner party last night. People loved it. definitely a staple here from now on; thanks again, Deb! Talk timely: As I write – sitting almost on top of my A.C….it’s so darn hot here today!… I’m listening to Splendid Table on NYPublic Radio. A food writer from the NY Times is talking about summer salads using grains. She talked about…toasting grains in a frying pan. Have you tried it?

  52. OMG. Made this yesterday for a potluck. It looked just like the picture–glossy and delicious. And the taste? It took all my strength not to empty the bowl into my mouth before we walked out the door. Nothing but compliments that evening. Would not change a thing about this recipe–thank you!

  53. This post makes me laugh! I’m having a similar pang to indulge in something non whole grain, and I like the twist of the roasted tomatoes. I too remember discovering israeli couscous…though I remember buying the overpriced-imported-from-israel-1 cup bags, from sutton place at Foxhall…Certainly miss those fresh fields bulk bins too!

  54. I know this post is a billion years old, but it’s become one of my favorite recipes, and I wanted to share a slight change I make – saute a bunch of chard leaves and stems, and throw a couple handfuls of the leaves into the dressing. The rest can go with the couscous – it is an excellent way to hide dark leafy greens from myself.

  55. Just to clear out the air, unlike most of the foods Israel regards to as her own and actually came from neighbours or with the Jews from thier home country, the Israeli couscous actually IS Israeli.

    It was invented in the 50’s, which was a depression like era, when the government asked Osem (A brand) to create a chepaer alternative to rice, whcih was expensive but popular with Jews from the Mahgreb area.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptitim

  56. I use Israeli couscous in Chicken Noodle Soup. It is like micro-mini dumplings. Only about 1/2 c in a whole pot of soup if you are limiting grains. YUM!

  57. SO glad I made this recipe. As one person already said, I had trouble not eating the whole bowl.

    Unfortunately, I had to stray a little because I didn’t have all the ingredients. I used fresh basil (from the garden) for mint, was out of garlic (wth?!) so used shallots (some roasted with the tomatoes, some sauteed), out of lemons so used lime juice. Still turned out great. Next time I will be sure to have all of the original ingredients on hand.

    Thank you for the great post.

  58. I served this to a bunch of hungry guys who were working on a construction project at my house. There is nothing left
    This ia going to be one of those recipes that l will make again and again and again
    Thank you!!!!

  59. I don’t know if there are Fresh & Easy stores in all areas, but they always have the pearly white couscous, along with many “hard to find” grains.

  60. this recipe is lovely! I’ve made it several times for potlucks, all to rave reviews. I frequently add in additional veggies (such as chick peas, corn, asparagus…) and roast them along with the tomatoes. Such a tasty dinner on a warm summer evening. The dressing is absolutely delicious! Thanks again for a great recipe Deb!

  61. For the past 2 or 3 years Trader Joe’s has carries a straight Israeli Couscous, 6oz box; I finally got around to making this now that my garden tomatoes are ripe… so I just winged it with whatever garden stuff was ripe. Had the mint, the tomatoes and other stuff; had a nice couple of kale leaves so I chiffonade’d them in place of the parsley. It’s so much more flavorful with your own fresh veggies vs. those flavorless store veggies.

  62. I made this last night for one of the side dishes at a BBQ and everyone loved it…so flavorful. Thanks for sharing this superb recipe!

  63. My bf is an Israeli advocate and I’m making this for a group of people tonight!! This is my third time preparing this dish. Love it!!

  64. This is a wonderful, wonderful salad.
    I saw this a while back, kept buying loads of tomatoes, and then finding myself using them in green salads and soups instead.
    Finally, thank god for Columbus Day holiday, because I managed to find the time tonight to try this out and it so worth it.
    I used regular couscous instead of these Israeli ones, and it is still delicious. Also, just used parsley, as I did not have fresh thyme or mint.
    I definitely recommend making this one. I want to buy the last of the remaining tomatoes this fall, before it becomes too late to make one final batch.

  65. Funny, I live on a tiny island in the pacific ad we have it here:) love it with the spinach and pinenuts, try adding some porcini mushrooms, a touch of truffle oil and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan, my personal fave…would be great with the roasted tomatoes in there too.

  66. I really enjoy your site. I too love Israeli cous cous..here’s a tip..before you add the broth, toast the cous cous in the pot/pan until it get golden brown, then add stock and cook.It adds a whole new dimension of flavor..nutty and toasty.

  67. This is my go-to party dish, everyone loooooves it. Thanks Deb! Do you think one can make it with orzo pasta and that it would still be as yummy?

  68. I really enjoyed this. I used combo of parsley and basil, and omitted mint & thyme, and thought it was fine. Next time I will chop up roasted garlic before pureeing, as it was a little difficult getting it to puree into the dressing. Also added a little red wine vinegar to the dressing.

  69. this was sooo good! I made some shish kabobs and lentils and this was a perfect addition. I never had couscous before, thanks for keeping it simple and delicious!

  70. Deb, I must be doing something wrong! I have made it the way you suggested and the dressing seems too much for the couscous….its almost like a gravy. I wonder if the tomatoes I use have too much water in them. Have you found any time that the dressing is too much for the couscous and how do I adjust it?

    1. Vaish — I remember that it does make a bit but your tomatoes could also effect it. You probably would want to use less next time and add more as needed.

  71. Thanks Deb. I reduced it a bit and then realised that the couscous absorbs the moisture, so I may use the whole thing next time. I tried it with Quinoa, but that did not absorb it completely so I would probably half it then. With the Quinoa I added roasted pepper and red onion. It was amazingly tasty both times! The only change I would make is scale it down in quantity since I abhor wasting and have been eating it for the last three days! Your website has really inspired me to cook again! Thanks so much!

  72. i’d made this a few years ago and it was fab; this time around i adapted it to be a vegan-protein-powerhouse by adding tiny black lentils and chickpeas (though in a quantity to insure the couscous remained the focus)…the roasted tomato flavor does awesome things for both additions. i rarely tweak recipes (like people who leave reviews and sub 7 of 10 ingredients then say they hate it…whatthe?!), especially those so well put together such as SK, but the legumes had an unexpectedly awesome effect.
    thanks deb!

  73. I have yet to try Israeli Couscous but found it very easy to find in the grocery store. It seems you can make it with anything that you would with any pasta dish. Hot or cold. I’m looking forward to making it with English cucumbers, red peppers, green onion and garlic all cut up small with a lemon vinaigrette topped with parsley. I think I will bring it to my neighbors crab feast…

  74. Just finished making this exactly as written, it is very yummy! I will definitely experiment with the flavors and ingredients keeping the basic recipe the same. Thanks for posting and sharing.

  75. Hi there!
    I pressed the “surprise me” tab and I got this, of all recipes!
    Here in Israel we call them “ptitim” (the P is not silent, it sounds more like peh-titim). The name literally means “flakes”, and they come in a variety of colors and shapes. At home I usually mix up the different shapes, the kids like it to look like a jumbly mess. I cook it like rice, with lots of sautéed onions, and serve it as a starchy side dish.

  76. I’ve never made couscous before so this was an experiment for our household. I followed the recipe to a T minus the olives. I mixed it all up just a minute ago and quickly popped a spoonful into my mouth because I could not wait another moment as it smelled heavenly. Well, the taste is just as heavenly as the smell! Delicious!!!

  77. Brandy, again… We’re making this again today and when I pulled up the recipe, my comment appeared. My daughter is upset that I didn’t let you know that she LOVES it too! :)

  78. i would really like to make this particular recipe “Pearl Couscous With Olives & Roasted Tomatoes” but it is for 6 servings…i only need 2 servings…why don’t you create a recipe changer so that someone could put in the amount of servings they want & it will change the ingredient amounts… i do go to several sites that have that particular option…so there is not a “guessing game” on how much ingredients to use.

    1. robin — This site doesn’t have the mechanism to do something like that because it’s written, staffed and run by a single person — me! (Unlike MyRecipes or AllRecipes which owned by media giants like Time Warner are staffed by 50 people and have a team of developers to build things for them). But I agree, it would be a nice feature. In the meanwhile, you can just halve everything. You’ll have a bit of extra but it makes great leftovers.

  79. Tried this tonight, with plum tomatoes since that’s all I could find. I’m sure it would be much better with the grape or cherry, but still was very, very good.
    I added a jalapeno to the oven while the garlic & tomato roasted and blended it with the sauce. It added a very mild spice to the dish that we enjoyed.
    I too love israeli couscous and I never realized it wasn’t a whole grain until reading this article! Very sad news, but the delicious-ness of this dish is helping me to get over it.

  80. I made this for a dinner party and it went down incredibly well! I left the olives in bigger pieces so my olive-phobic friends could pick them out, but otherwise followed to the letter what you did. Served with a halloumi and spinach salad. It was absolutely delicious, thank you for posting!

  81. I’ve made this dish a few times and it is wonderful! If you make this dish ahead of time, do you normally serve it at room temperature then? What if you wanted to serve warmed?

  82. This has become my go to Israeli couscous recipe. It’s super yum with a bit of preserved lemon. I also dress it when I’m ready to serve it because I find the couscous soaks up the dressing absorbing most of the punch from the roasted tomatoes.

  83. Wow. Just stumbled upon this in a search and expected an OK dish. Boy, was I wrong. This is delicious. Best Israeli couscous I’ve ever had. By a lot. Thanks!

  84. I have yet to be disappointed by a recipe from this blog! This was absolutely delicious! I did blend the herbs directly into the dressing for an even flavor.

  85. I just made this exactly like the recipe stated. It was absolutely wonderful! My husband and I loved it and all it’s flavors. We will definitely be making it again! Thank you so much for sharing!

  86. Hi All — if you can’t find Israeli couscous in your local grocery store, you can buy it from Amazon in five-pound bags. They carry at least a couple of brands. This recipe looks great — can’t wait to try it.

  87. I found a good recipe for the Whole Foods version of couscous with dried cranberries, pecans, etc. Close to the original, to which I’m addicted. Happy to share.

  88. I realize that this recipe is several years old, so by now you may have discovered more Israeli couscous recipes, but I wanted to bring your attention to one of my favorites that is a regular for us: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/mediterranean-salad-recipe.html. My husband (carnivore) mixes in grilled or oven roasted chicken, and I (vegetarian) mix in tofu that has been marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. A side of roasted sweet potatoes is also delicious, and can also be mixed in once everything is done cooking. Your recipe looks really good too – I’ll have to give it a try soon! Also for those looking for Israeli couscous, check the Kosher aisle in the grocery store. Trader Joe’s often has it too.