Thermobexta’s Festive Couscous Salad

Pearl cous cous saladThere is a greatly improved, more streamlined version of this recipe in my cookbook, Summer Meal Mix Up, which you can find here.

This is a vibrant and flavoursome salad great for any time of the year, but a particularly good one for Christmas! It can be made a day or two in advance – keep the dressing separate until just before you’re ready to serve.

1 garlic clove
3 spring onions, sliced
20g extra virgin olive oil
250g pearl couscous
1 tsp vegetable stock paste concentrate
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends trimmed, sliced into 1cm lengths
40g pistachio nuts
40g pepitas
100g red capsicum, diced into small pieces
3/4 cup basil leaves, torn
30g baby capers

40g extra virgin olive oil
40g apple cider vinegar
10g wholegrain mustard
10g raw honey
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

1. Place garlic into mixing bowl, chop for 3 seconds/speed7/MC on. Add spring onion and oil and saute for 4 minutes/steaming temperature/speed soft/MC on.

2. Meanwhile, measure the couscous into steaming basket and place the stock paste on top of it.

3. When onion/garlic finishes cooking, pour it out onto the couscous then place the steaming basket into the bowl, along with 1L water. Cook for 10 minutes/steaming temperature/speed 4/MC on.

4. While the couscous is cooking, place the pistachios and pepitas into a dry frying pan and heat, shaking the pan intermittently so the nuts and seeds don’t burn. When the pepitas start to pop, turn the heat off and leave to cool down.

5. Add asparagus in on top of the couscous and cook for a further 2 minutes/steaming temperature/speed 4/MC on, then remove basket from mixer bowl and pour contents into a large serving bowl. Run a fork through it if needed. Discard water.

6. Place dressing ingredients into mixer bowl and blitz for 30 seconds/speed 7/MC on.

7. When couscous has cooled to room temperature, add to it the capsicum, basil and capers, along with 3/4 of the toasted nuts and seeds. Combine well with a large spoon.

8. Pour dressing over the salad and combine well, then top with remaining nuts and seeds to garnish.

There is a greatly improved, more streamlined version of this recipe in my cookbook, Summer Meal Mix Up, which you can find here.

Pearl couscous is a type of pasta, very different in texture to regular couscous. It can be found in most supermarkets in the pasta section, usually on the bottom shelf. It is also known as Israeli couscous. Check your packet for cooking time and if required, adjust cooking time in the recipe accordingly. Quinoa is a nice alternative – rinse thoroughly before use and increase the 10 minutes cooking time to 16 minutes before adding the asparagus.


24 thoughts on “Thermobexta’s Festive Couscous Salad

  1. Delicious on xmas day,even better today when all the pearls have swollen with the dressing. Great salad thanks Bec. We also had your caramelized onion potato salad. One of my all time fave recipes is a caramelized onion,apple,date and chickpea salad,must try to convert it to thermie. X


  2. Made this for Christmas lunch this year, was delicious. Made it all the day before to save time and then just dressed it right before serving. Highly recommended.


  3. OMG… salad ever! This was an absolute treat for Christmas easy to make, healthy & most of all full of flavor oh so delish!
    Will Definately be making this for all summer bbqs to come;)


  4. I have made this delicious salad twice now and it was a hit on both occasions! I had several people ask for the recipe. I used whole wheat cous cous and it was so tasty! Great the next day too.


  5. I made this for a BBQ and left out the capers. It was delicious and I could have just eaten it as a meal on it’s own. It was very refreshing. Thanks for sharing


  6. Love, love love this fresh different recipe!!! I made it for two family functions over Christmas and at both occasions they were hits.. thank you so much for continuing to provide us with beautiful fresh yummy recipes!!!


  7. I loved this recipe. My husband hates cous cous but after having this salad, he was s changed man. I did add some grilled butternut & salmon flakes and it was yum! Thanks for sharing


  8. Loved this recipe – didn’t have any asparagus so threw in some left over baked sweet potato and some dried cranberries – delish! The next day combined some left over roast veg and baby spinach salad with the left over cous cous salad and it was better again!! A true meal unto itself!


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