So couscous is known as the national dish of Morocco, but make the little pasta balls a bit bigger and then it gets labeled as “Israeli”, throw the elements of a Greek salad into it and you’ve got one hell of a melting pot on your plate.
I’ve never been to Israel, although half of my father’s family is supposedly from that general vicinity (we legitimately don’t know half his ancestry), but I have been to Morocco and Greece. This salad is like the love child of those two countries.
I think it’s far better to think of the delicious couscous than the memories of the Moroccan army boarding our tour bus with assault rifles slung over their shoulders as we crossed the Spanish border into their country or, the absolutely filthy streets of casablanca where litter was literally flying through the air in the wind and best yet, the foreign meat that we all ate at what I can only describe as Morocco’s version of Medieval Times that turned out to be camel (tastes like a fatty version of veal FYI).
I don’t have nearly as exciting memories of Greece, just that it was insanely hot (we climbed the steps to the Parthenon in 110 degree weather) and that I ate an insane amount of Greek salads in the span of 10 days. I don’t think the taste of raw onions left my mouth until about a week after I got home.
That’s the thing about Greek salads, love every single bit of them except the raw onion part. How are you supposed to enjoy the delicious moussaka, pastichio or spanakopita when you could knock someone out with the smell of your breath?
I didn’t want Morocco to be all “dude what’s with your breath?” to Greece for this one so, Greece went in the oven to be tamed.
25 minutes later and it was one big party in the multicultural salad bowl. Full of flavor and sans assault rifles, what more could you ask for?
- 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium red onion, sliced
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.
- Toss tomatoes and onions with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Spread on baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- While tomatoes & onions roast, combine couscous, herbs and spices in a medium bowl.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and remaining olive oil.
- Once tomatoes & onions are roasted, combine with couscous and herbs.
- Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.
- Lastly, fold in feta crumbles.
- Adjust seasoning to taste and garnish with extra basil or mint if desired.