This Couscous Almondine Salad is inspired by one of the pricey pre-made salads at my favorite grocery store — it’s easy to throw together, it’s chocked full of great tastes, it’s healthy as all get out, and it keeps for a week in the fridge — so make a big batch!

Couscous Almondine Salad with a spiced lemon vinaigrette is the perfect working lunch, and it keeps all week in the fridge! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

This Middle Eastern inspired salad is just packed with flavor, and it’s not the same old been-there-done-that pasta salad you’ve been making for years (the first taste will tell you that you’re not in Kansas anymore.)  There are so many unusual elements to this Couscous Almondine Salad I hardly know where to start — how about with the intense sweetness of the tiny currents, the crunch of the slivered almonds, or the aromatic allspice and cinnamon spiked vinaigrette?  I improvised on the ingredients list of the salad that I buy so often for a last minute lunch.  I added gorgeous dried peaches and plums from my farmers market, and some plump green raisins that I had in the cupboard.  The spices add an interesting warm note to the traditional lemon dressing.  You’re going to love this!

Ingredients for making Couscous Almondine Salad ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

This couscous almondine salad is a great lunch choice for work or school because it keeps so well.  You can dress it ahead of time, or bring a little container of vinaigrette to toss it fresh.

Couscous Almondine Salad is full of healthy flavorful ingredients and keeps all week in the fridge! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Don’t get bogged down in the exact ingredients for this recipe, what’s important is that you have the balance of flavors and textures with some sort of onion (green or white will do in place of the red,) crunchy nuts, a couple of fresh veggies, and a dried fruit.  Here are a few other add-ins that you could use:

  • black olives
  • feta cheese
  • pistachios
  • pine nuts
  • pomegranate seeds
  • celery
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • dried cherries or cranberries
  • dried apricots

Couscous Almondine Salad with a Cinnamon Allspice Vinaigrette ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Couscous is one of the easiest grains on the planet to make.  Just drop it in boiling water, cover, and set aside for 15 minutes.  Then fluff.  It makes a great base for salads because the little grains of pasta soak up flavors so well.

Couscous Almondine Salad with a spiced lemon vinaigrette is a complete departure from your everyday pasta salad! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

TIP: I used my Vidalia Chop Wizard to get everything beautifully diced.  I even chopped my dried fruit and tomatoes with it, it’s awesome.  I like that it has two settings, one for a regular dice and one for a really fine dice.  I could never get such a perfect cut with a knife and it’s the perfect tool for a salad where you want everything even and finely chopped.

Couscous Salad

Couscous Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked couscous
  • 1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup finely diced tomato
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried currents
  • 1/4 cup dried peaches, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup dried plums, finely diced
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
    dressing
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Put the couscous in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients and taste to see if you need to adjust any of the ingredients. You can dress the salad immediately or wait until you are ready to eat. Use just enough to moisten and flavor the salad, but don't drown it.
  3. Keeps for a week covered in the refrigerator.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/couscous-almondine-salad-recipe/

notes:

  • Be sure to start with plain couscous, not one of the flavored varieties.
  • Pack the salad in individual plastic containers or mason jars for quick grab and go lunches.
  • You can substitute quinoa or cracked wheat (bulgur) for the couscous.
  • If you like the bowls I used in this post, you can find out about them here.

 

don’t forget to pin it!

COUSCOUS ALMONDINE SALAD ~ a quick salad full of interesting flavors and textures that keeps all week in the fridge! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

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22 Responses to Couscous Almondine Salad

  1. Beautiful, healthy and delish! A+!

  2. grace says:

    love the colors and ingredients in this, and the dressing sounds perfect! wheat berries might be good in lieu of couscous too!

  3. Gorgeous, Sue! So often when I’m rushed I will pick up a salad at the deli counter and later complain how much I spent and how I could have made it so much better!, lol.
    This is a big reminder that I need to do just that and your combination of flavours is out of this world – LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

  4. Love this couscous salad, and anything middle eastern flavoured. Definitely have to make it!

  5. My weekend picnic needs this salad. Just gorgeous!

  6. Donna says:

    Kathy,
    Click on ‘Read More’ it gives you the full delicious recipe…

  7. Kathy says:

    When I get your post and click on the recipe, it just takes me to comments about the recipe????

  8. Monique says:

    I would happily dig into this beautiful dish:)Sorry It is hard for me to comment..could be our provider..but it just loads and loads:(

  9. cheri says:

    Couscous is one of my favorite of all grains, love this salad, the color and texture are perfect.

  10. This looks simply amazing, something I could eat for lunch everyday. I love how versatile ingredient-wise it is too!

  11. Brianne B says:

    Yum, this salad is right up my alley! I love adding loads of bright mix-ins…they make a salad so much more exciting:D

  12. Oh my gosh, I can really taste the salad through your description, the crunchy almonds the sweet currants, etc. Lush.

  13. What a beautiful salad! I was just standing in the grocery store looking at the prepackaged salads trying to figure out what I wanted to make at home. It is a great place for inspiration :)

    • Sue says:

      I get some of my favorite recipes by copying the salads at my grocery store :) In California we have a market chain called Gelsons, and it has the most amazing deli section with a dizzying collection of fresh salads for sale by the pound, and they are incredibly expensive too, you could go broke buying them on a regular basis.

  14. Emma says:

    This looks and sounds delicious! So summery!!

  15. This sounds delicious! I’ve been loving couscous lately because it cooks so quickly! I’m all about quick and easy :)

  16. This is a beautiful bowl of color Sue! I love the crunch and the layers of flavor and I think Angie is right – Quinoa would be great in there too. It is absolutely beautiful and the bowls are stunning.

    • Sue says:

      Quinoa or cracked wheat would also work with this for sure, but for some reason I think couscous absorbs flavor better. Thanks Tricia :)

  17. This is an awesome salad! Love the colour and flavour. I don’t have couscous, but I bet quinoa would work just as great in this salad.

    • Sue says:

      Angie I can’t even imagine the array of interesting grains etc that you must have in your cupboards…I’d love to see your take on this salad!

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