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Summer Israeli Couscous Salad with Crispy Halloumi

  • Author: Molly
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


This Summer Israeli Couscous Salad with Crispy Halloumi is quickly becoming a summer staple! Fresh herby dressing coats tender couscous and then all the summer veggies get stirred in. The best part is the crispy halloumi cheese on top. This dish is enough to stand on its own, but it also would make for a wonderful side dish all summer long. So much fresh flavor!



For the Dressing:

  • 1 packed cup fresh basil
  • ¼ packed cup fresh mint
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon DIjon mustard
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Couscous:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (also known as pearled couscous)
  • 4 cups water (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Halloumi:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 8-oz piece of halloumi cheese, sliced thinly
  • For the Salad:
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, kernels cut from the cobs (roughly 1 cup of corn)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup sliced cucumber
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • Additional fresh basil or mint, for garnish
  • Additional salt and pepper, to taste


For the Dressing:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine the herbs, garlic, vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blend on high to combine.
  2. With the machine running, slowly stream in the oil. Blend until the dressing is thickened and creamy. Season, to taste, with more salt and pepper.

For the Couscous:

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the couscous and cook, stirring constantly, until it is lightly browned and toasted in spots, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the water and salt. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover the pot.
  3. Simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until the water is mostly absorbed and the couscous is fluffy and tender. Drain off any excess liquid.
  4. While the couscous cooks, prep the fresh ingredients for the salad: cut the corn off the cobs, halve the tomatoes, etc.
  5. Pour the dressing into a large mixing bowl. Add the cooked couscous while it is still warm and stir well to coat in the dressing. It will absorb the flavors as it sits.

For the Halloumi:

  1. While the couscous is cooling, make the crispy halloumi by heating a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Slice the cheese and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Add the oil to the pan and once it is hot, add the halloumi slices to the hot oil.
  4. Crisp in the oil for 3 minutes per side. You want the cheese to be golden brown and crisp on the outside and gooey in the middle.
  5. Set crisped halloumi on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb the excess oil.
  6. To Assemble:
  7. To the dressed couscous in the bowl, add the corn, tomatoes, baby arugula, cucumber, red onion, and some additional fresh basil and/or mint. Toss well to combine and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  8. Add the crispy halloumi and gently stir to incorporate. Alternatively, you can wait to top the salad with the halloumi when you are serving the salad. You can also chop it up into smaller pieces and stir it in with the other ingredients.
  9. The salad can be served immediately or chilled to be served at a later time. It’s great warm or cold. It will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: salads

Keywords: Israeli couscous salad, herby couscous, couscous with crispy halloumi, crispy halloumi cheese, herbed couscous, herbed Israeli couscous salad