This recipe for Israeli Couscous Salad welcomes any changes you feel like making to it, but I make mine with toasted walnuts, feta, mint, peppery arugula, and quick pickled shallots; every forkful is fresh and fantastic. It's really tempting to eat the whole bowl in one sitting.
1/2cupwalnutstoasted and chopped (see notes), plus more for garnish
To make the pickled shallots:
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt to simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in shallots.
Cover and cool completely, about 30 minutes. Drain well and discard marinade.
To make the couscous:
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine couscous and oil. Cook the couscous until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Stir in water and salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 3 minutes.
Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
To make the salad:
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, red pepper flakes (if using), and a pinch of salt. Add cooled couscous, arugula, mint, 1/2 cup feta, peas, walnuts, and drained shallots. Toss to combine.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with remaining feta and more chopped walnuts.
To toast walnuts in the oven:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
Toss walnuts in 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with salt if desired. Arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Toast until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 7 to 10 minutes.
To toast walnuts on the stove:
Toss walnuts in 2 teaspoons oil and sprinkle with salt if desired. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat walnuts until browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 5 minutes.