Israeli couscous are small, nutty, chewy pearls of pasta that make a wonderful textural contrast to the tender vegetables and creamy goat cheese in this salad. It’s a terrific side dish for a late-summer cookout or barbecue.
- 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous *
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 cups chicken stock (or water, then add a pinch of salt)
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
- 3–4 ears corn, shucked
- 1 small red onion, leaving the core in, cut into wedges
- 2 lemons, cut in half
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- In a large pot (with a lid), heat butter heat until bubbly, then add the couscous, stir while ‘toasting’ the couscous for about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock (or water). Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer couscous until tender about 10 minutes (see package instructions for cooking time). Strain if needed, then set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan to high; clean and lightly oil. Toss tomatoes, corn, onion, and lemon with 2-3 tablespoons oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables (the lemons too!), occasionally turning, until charred in spots and tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Chop tomatoes, and onion, cut kernels from cobs, and add to the couscous. Juice the lemons and add to the vegetable and couscous mixture with the chopped thyme—season with kosher salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with goat cheese.
*Israeli couscous is hard to find and sometimes called Pearl Couscous. I order mine on Amazon. It is very much like pasta or Sicilian fregola pasta. It’s pretty delicious and a great thing to keep in your cupboard. It goes well with any roasted meat or vegetables and a little cheese; boom, dinner done! If you can’t find it, use orzo or any other tiny pasta like ditalini or acini di pepe (also called soup pasta). I like the whole wheat variety.
Why toast the pasta in butter? It gives the pasta a wonderful nutty, chewy texture. It adds a great deal of dimension to these simple grilled salads.
Keywords: israeli couscous salad, grilled corn and tomato salad, salad with corn, tomatoes, israeli couscous and goat cheese, late summer salads, quick and easy summer salad