Israeli Couscous Picnic Salad

Israeli Couscous Picnic Salad

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Rating:


1/2 cup wheat berries
1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
pinch saffron
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
2 sprigs mint, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
1/4 cup feta, crumbled (can be omitted for a vegan variation)
1 can fava beans, rinsed and drained (available at Middle Eastern groceries - these fully mature beans may be labeled Ful Madamas, and are different from fresh green favas, although the latter might make a nice substitution)
juice and zest from 1 lemon
~2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper


Place the wheat berries in a sauce pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat until it's just high enough to maintain a simmer. Cook until the wheat berries are tender, ~45 minutes. Some may split open, but most will be intact, and there should be no hard white centers remaining. Drain any excess water, and set aside.

While the wheat berries are cooking, prepare the Israeli couscous. In a large saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the couscous, saffron, and a pinch of salt. Lower the heat until it's just high enough to maintain a simmer, cover, and let cook until the water is absorbed and the couscous is cooked through, ~10 minutes.

Set the grains aside to cool somewhat (so that they won't melt your feta and wilt your cilantro--I tossed them in the refrigerator for a bit to speed this process). While the grains are cooling, gather and prep the remaining ingredients, and place them in a large bowl. Add the cooled couscous and wheat berries, tossing gently to combine. Season to taste, and add more olive oil if needed to moisten, or lemon juice if desired. This salad keeps well, and is delicious at any temperature.