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+ servings

Minty Couscous

A simple, yet addictive couscous salad that combines the sweetness of mint with other spices and vegetables. 

Course Salad
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Laura


  • 2 cups large kernel "regular" (not Jerusalem or Israeli) couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups finely diced "hard" such as carrots, colorful peppers, seeded cucumbers (removing the inside membrane and seeds), celery, and radishes
  • 1/4 cup finely diced Italian (flat leaf) parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely diced fresh mint leaves 
  • 1/2 cup currants Currants are smaller than raisins. If you use raisins instead and you're obsessive, cut them.
  • 1/4 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed) About 1/2 orange juiced.
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts preferably pistachios or pin nuts (for an especially Middle Eastern taste) or walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, green and white parts
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice Juice from about 1 & 1/2 lemons.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium size pot. Add the oil or butter, mix them in and add the couscous. Stir the couscous for 30 seconds as it begins to absorb the water, then cover the pot, remove from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. 
  2. Remove the cover, separate the couscous granules by running a fork over and through them. Set them aside in a large platter with sides or a bowl.

  3. Add the diced vegetables, parsley, mint, and scallions along with the chopped nuts to the couscous and mix them gently but well.
  4. Heat the orange juice (with water if necessary) until it is warm but not simmering (microwaving is simple and quick), then add the currants or chopped raisins and let them soak until they have absorbed most of the water. Add the fruit and liquid to the couscous and incorporate them. 
  5. Mix the spices, lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl with a fork or shake them in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Pour the dressing over the couscous and gently mix it in. 
  6. Let the salad stand for 30 minutes on the counter or refrigerate it to let the flavors blend. Serve with grilled meats, fish, poultry and/or veggies, or as a one-dish lunch.