Mediterranean Couscous

Couscous is shaped like a grain but is actually a pasta made of semolina wheat. This light salad tastes its best at room temperature, making it ideal to pack along for a picnic.


  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup packed whole green olives (drain then slice them thin)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley


In a small saucepan bring to a boil water, salt, and 1 tablespoon oil. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and transfer to bowl. In a small skillet cook garlic in 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat, stirring, until pale golden. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened. Stir onion mixture into couscous with vinegar, red peppers, olives, capers, pine nuts, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Salad may be made one day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish.