Rose Colored Couscous, or Israeli Couscous with Beets and Walnuts is a uniquely beautiful and healthy pasta salad ~ the grains of couscous are stained a gorgeous magenta pink and it’s a show stopper!
Even the empty plate was beautiful with this salad. You’re looking at fresh beet greens and the last few grains of Israeli couscous that have been stained a brilliant fuchsia by roasted beets. Don’t they look like little berries?
I really like the texture of the large pearls of Israeli style couscous, but you can use regular couscous as well. Either way they will take on the pretty color from the roasted beets. I add the beets and the lemony vinaigrette while the beets are still warm, and the transformation is almost instantaneous.
This will definitely be a conversation starter at your next gathering. I found the recipe on a Polish blog, and this salad is an interesting fusion of Polish and Middle Eastern elements. While Google translate is notoriously imperfect, it was good enough to get me through this simple recipe.
This is a easy, healthy recipe with a big wow factor.
Za’atar is a common Middle Eastern herb, related to oregano and thyme. It’s also the name of spice mix made with dried herbs, crushed sesame seeds, and sumac, a dried berry with a tangy, sour flavor. Za’atar can be hard to find in the US, but you can make your own. I used this blend:
4 tsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano
4 tsp dried marjoram
4 tsp ground sumac
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp ground cumin
- Crush everything lightly with a mortar and pestle.
Reader Rave ~
“I made this today for a ladies bible study brunch. I’m adding the walnuts right before I serve it. I know they will love it. I just hope I can stay out of it so I have enough to serve. It is soooo delicious and one of the prettiest salads I’ve ever made.” ~ Glenna
Rose Colored Couscous (Israeli Couscous with Beets and Walnuts)
- 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous, you can use regular couscous
- 2 medium beets, roasted (see instructions in the note below)
- handful of parsley leaves, chopped
- a handful of fresh dill fronds, chopped
- a handful of good walnuts, roughly chopped
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 Tbsp za'atar, see recipe above
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- Chop the beets into a small dice while they are still warm. Toss with the couscous, breaking up any lumps with a fork.
- Toss with the herbs and nuts.
- Mix the za’atar with the olive oil and lemon juice, and add to the salad. Toss well. Refrigerate for at least an hour or two to allow it to get completely chilled, and for the flavors to mingle. Check the seasonings and serve garnished with a few more nuts and herbs.
More couscous recipes to try ~
Don’t forget to pin this gorgeous Rose Colored Couscous!
Questions and Reviews
if we all would love each other rather than hate ….. what a better world this would be
This is lovely, actually I have seen this made by Algerian friends who mix in orange blossom water, nuts, and even sometimes dried fruits. But one thing is very sad is that you don’t give the type of couscous it’s proper name, this is Maaftoul – a Palestinian variation on couscous. Ofcourse through occupation the occupiers learned the dish but it’s deeply insulting to see that the roots of this ingredient have been stripped and appropriated to an occupying apartheid state. I would expect better from western bloggers.
I hear you Dalia, I’ll look into that, I promise.
I’ve never seen a recipe that included politics. Food is the one thing I feel brings us together, not matter what the origins.
Hi Sue this salad looks amazing! I was wondering how far in advance it could be prepared? For instance could I make it the day before and refrigerate (with addition of walnuts and garnish just prior to serving).
That works great Dana, no problem.
I made this today for a ladies bible study brunch. I’m adding the walnuts right before I serve it. I know they will love it. I just hope I can stay out of it so I have enough to serve. It is soooo delicious and one of the prettiest salads I’ve ever made.
I don’t get much feedback on this salad, Glenna, so I’m so glad you took the time to comment, I agree with you, it’s one of the prettiest salads out there, hope the ladies enjoyed it!
This is absolutely gorgeous! It’s amazing how much you can transform a dish with just beet! Thank you for sharing xo
Thanks for the nice words, Anthea!
What a coinkidink! I had that for the first time at the weekend (and for lunch again today) and it was delicious!
this is SO happening for my lunches; SO happening. you just reminded me that i don’t have za’atar right now, so that needs to be fixed pronto.
gotta love google translate: it makes for some unexpectedly funny afternoons if you’re trying to translate blog recipes, for sure (they said WHAT is in there? REALLY?) 🙂
How beautiful does this look.
Oh, this would be so fun for a girls lunch, love it!