I’ve never been a big salad person, so I’m always trying to incorporate them into my diet. Whether as a main, starter, or side, I’ve found some darn good salad recipes on Pinterest. Now that I think about it, maybe I am a salad person now. (Ha! Never thought I’d say that.) My latest find is this recipe for Lemony Arugula Salad with Couscous, Cucumbers, and Feta. It’s chock full of yummy things I love like cucumber, couscous, and feta cheese. Plus it’s an excuse to use some preserved lemons. They have such a unique flavor, and I don’t get a chance to use them often. I have a batch that I made recently, and I’m super-stoked to introduce them to my husband. Le’ts get started!
This lemony arugula and couscous salad is crave-worthy. Once you make it, you’ll be itching to make it again.
The list of ingredients for this salad is medium length, and it does have a few specialty items. First up was the seedless cucumber. They’re getting easier to find, but they can be pricey—as much as $4 each. If you can’t find one, just used a peeled and seeded regular cucumber.
Next up was the pearl couscous. Also called Israeli couscous, the grains of this type are much larger than regular couscous. I happened to have some whole wheat pearl couscous leftover from another recipe (Herbed Couscous Pilaf), so that’s what I used for this recipe too. I find it’s more flavorful, but it can be hard to find.
Lastly is the preserved lemons. I like to make mine since it’s very simple to do, but it does take a month of soaking in salted lemon juice for the lemons to become preserved. If you can’t wait, you can always buy them. I’ve only seen them at Fresh Market, specialty grocery stores, and Amazon.
The rest of the ingredients should be easy to find. I happened to shop on a day that the store ran out of fresh basil, though, but I did find a good substitute. A lightly dried version found in the produce section worked just as well and is supposed to keep for much longer. This could be a game-changer! I inevitably have some of my fresh basil go bad, and I’ve managed to kill a few basil plants.
The first step to this salad is making the couscous. Thankfully, it’s one of the easiest things ever to prepare! I got mine started in a small saucepan and moved onto prepping the rest of the ingredients.
The rest of the prep work was also very easy and went smoothly. I started by making the salad dressing. The recipe doesn’t specify, but I used my trusty mini-prep to mix it up. I love it for salad dressing because it emulsified it a bit and also chops the ingredients. The biggest benefit, though, is that oil-based dressings don’t separate as quickly.
Once the dressing was done, a quick bit of chopping finished off the prep work. All I had to do was wait for the couscous to finish before I could more further. That didn’t take long, though, and I soon had my lemony arugula salad assembled and ready to serve. Here’s how my time broke down:
- 14 minutes to prep (includes time for the couscous to cool)
- 10 minutes to cook
- 24 minutes total