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Israeli Couscous Salad with Olives and Ricotta Salata Recipe

Cous Cous Salad
Molly Aronica

Cous Cous Salad

This refreshing salad pairs beautifully alongside grilled meats, fish, and vegetables. Make sure to sauté the couscous for a few minutes before boiling to bring out its rich, toasted flavor. This salad can be served warm, chilled, or at room temperature, which makes it a great option when entertaining. 


  • ¾ cup Israeli couscous (or other pearled couscous)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 15 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ cup ricotta salata, crumbled
  • 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper


Boil 2 cups of water over high heat. Meanwhile, sauté the cous cous in a medium-sized pot over medium heat until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Slowly add the boiling water to the pot and bring the couscous to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat until the water is fully absorbed, about 12 minutes.

Prep the vegetables and crumble the cheese while the couscous is cooking and add them to a large mixing bowl. When the couscous is done, transfer it to the bowl and toss everything together. Dress the salad with the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refidgerate it in an air-tight container.