Israeli Couscous Tomato Salad*

I think my husband has finally learned to speak Jessica. I know that sometimes he does not fully understand me or what I say. Like when we were first dating and he would pick on me, I would jokingly call him an asshole. Because in my household we call each other names from time to time. We don’t mean them to be taken seriously, personally, or to actually hurt any feelings. For example, once when my sister was about 5 years old, my Dad (Joey) told her no to something she wanted, so she went upstairs and drew a picture of a donkey on a Wanted poster. And wrote in “WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE: JACKASS JOEY”. A few months go by, and my Dad is looking for a sheet of paper…and he came across this little drawing. He immediately stormed downstairs and shoved the drawing in my Mom’s face, assuming this was somehow her doing. After laughing so hard she almost peed, she admitted she had never seen it before. So they then asked my sister, Haley, and she said “Yes Daddy, I was mad at you”.  My Mom loved the name so much that it has stuck around for the past 10 years and has even been shortened to JJ…and the “artwork” has been saved right along next to my sisters turkey hand-print painting for the day we finally remember to frame it.

That is my background, while Jorge was raised the exact opposite. And, as I learned a year after dating, he was actually upset and hurt when I would call him names, but was too kind to actually say anything. By the time he finally told me he had already started to come around to finding my potty mouth endearing. But even after two years of marriage he is still figuring out what I actually mean when I say certain things. Like when I say “Thank You”, I mean it. I really do. But when I say “Thanks A Lot”…well…that is more along the lines of “Thanks For Taking So Long That I Ended Up Doing It Myself”. And in the past, when I have said “Thanks A Lot” (with sarcasm dripping off of every word), he has actually said “Oh, I’m so sorry!” and meant it! Well this weekend, I asked him to do something…probably 3 times. I finally got up and did it myself. Sat down and said “Thanks A Lot” and without missing a beat he said “You’re Welcome”. Which just confirms that being a smartass is contagious.

As for this Israeli Couscous Tomato Salad, I made this for the Girl’s Picnic and it was perfect for it! It is best served room temperature, which makes it perfect to travel with! I really like the onions in this and found the turmeric to add great flavor and will definitely make this again for an easy lunch!



Israeli Couscous Tomato Salad

Yield: 6 servings


2 cups Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large yellow onions (Spanish or sweet), halved and sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved


Drop the couscous into a large pot of rapidly boiling, salted water, and cook like pasta, until al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse briefly under cool water.

Meanwhile, caramelize the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large, wide skillet over medium-high heat, then add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle in the brown sugar, balsamic, turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and continue cooking for 5 more minutes.

Then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes longer, or until very soft and sweet.

Stir in the cooked couscous, top with the tomatoes, and serve at room temperature. (You may serve this dish hot, but I preferred is room temperature.)

Adapted from: 5 Second Rule


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11 Responses to “Israeli Couscous Tomato Salad”

  1. 1

    dawn hutchins — November 2, 2010 @ 8:57 am

    This looks like such a great side dish. I love the addition of the balsamic vinegar!

  2. 2

    Eliana — November 2, 2010 @ 10:53 am

    You’ve got some great flavors here Jessica (especially that balsamic). This looks awesome.

  3. 3

    Melissa @ Made in Melissa's Kitchen — November 2, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    I have been waiting for this recipe! I love all of the flavors in this couscous and can’t wait to make it. :)

  4. 4

    Jenna — November 3, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    I love this recipe–I can tell just from the ingredients that I’m going to love how it tastes. I know I have some Israeli couscous sitting around somwhere in the pantry . . .

  5. 5

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — November 3, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    I love that you used brown sugar and cayenne in this couscous salad, Jess – It looks delicious and perfect for a light meal. Also, I have a pomegranate cosmopolitan up today that I think you’d really like!

  6. 6

    Sharlene — November 3, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

    Haha the story about your sister is so precious! I haven’t made couscous in quite awhile but used to love making it often. Thank you for reminding me about my love for it with this beautiful recipe!

  7. 7

    Beth — November 5, 2010 @ 4:29 pm

    I love the Wanted poster! Too funny! The salad looks great too.

  8. 8

    Chiara — November 6, 2010 @ 4:53 am

    Israeli couscous… yum! Better yet, couscous and tomatoes. A match made in heaven!

  9. 9

    Rhonda — November 8, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    I just made this couscous salad and it was delicious…Just be careful with that yellow staining turmeric as I have learned from a past mistake about that! I only made half the recipe but used the same amount of tomatoes. I also seeded the tomatoes as I halved each one as I was afraid it would get watery after sitting in my fridge for the few days it will take to eat it all…It was very yummy!

  10. 10

    ErinsFoodFiles — November 10, 2010 @ 10:49 am

    Yum! I love these types of salads. I’ve yet to make something with Israeli Couscous though!

  11. 11

    Glenn — December 20, 2010 @ 6:38 pm

    This sounds really good to me and I am really just a meat and spuds kind of guy. Think I’ll try it next time I’m at home with my bro.

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