Tomato Couscous Salad with Fresh Herbs

A sunny autumn day. Beautiful ripe tomatoes available in all colours and sizes. Fresh herbs also.  This is a visually awesome salad to prepare and serve.  The recipe is from Plenty, Yotam Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook.  I have posted recipes from his cookbook, Jerusalem, in the past and I just adore each and every recipe I’ve tried so far.

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Ottlenghi calls this recipe Tomato Party but I think there’s a lot more partying going on here than just the tomatoes.
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There is the visual pairing of the two different types of couscous. The larger couscous is known by many names: Israeli couscous, fregola or mograbiah. The combination of these two pastas is actually fun.

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I used whole wheat couscous and the large pearl-type Israeli couscous.

Luckily for me, I picked all the herbs from my garden, oregano, tarragon and mint.

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Fresh oregano, tarragon and mint leaves from my backyard garden

The couscous’s are prepared separately according to the recipe and then mixed together.
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Take 3 whole tomatoes, colour of your choice, and cut into eighths, sprinkled with brown sugar, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes. The remaining tomatoes are cut in half if cherry tomato size and eighths if regular size.
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Mix all the ingredients together, the roasted tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, chopped up herbs and two types of couscous. Add a crushed garlic clove, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt & pepper to taste. A beautiful salad to serve for any occasion. In fact, i can’t wait to make it again and enjoy with family and friends.
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Tomato Couscous Salad with Fresh Herbs

3/4 cup couscous (I used whole wheat couscous)
Olive oil
2/3 cup boiling water
1 cup Israeli couscous (also called fregola or mograbiah)
3  tomatoes of various colour, quartered
3/4  tsp brown sugar
black pepper
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 cup colourful cherry tomatoes, halved or 2 different coloured tomato, cut in eighths
2 tbsp. roughly chopped oregano leaves
2 tbsp roughly chopped tarragon leaves
2 tbsp roughly chopped mint leaves
1 garlic clove, crushed

  1.  Preheat the over to 325 degrees.
  2. Put the couscous in a bowl with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of oil. Pour over the boiling water, stir and cover the bowl with a lid.  Set aside for 12 minutes.  Separate the grains with a fork and leave to cool.
  3. Place the Israeli couscous in a pot of boiling salted water and simmer for 18 minutes, until al dente.  Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water.  Leave to dry completely.
  4. Spread the quartered 3 tomatoes on a baking pan and sprinkle with the brown sugar, salt & pepper.  Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and some oil on top.  Place in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.  Remove the tomatoes and allow to cool.
  5. Mix together the 2 couscous’s, cooked tomatoes with all their juices, crushed garlic and herbs.  Add the rest of fresh cut tomatoes and gently mix together. Add extra salt, pepper and/or olive oil if desired.


  1. Yummy, yummy, yummy. I’m going to Turkey in Dec. if you want me to get you something special at the Spice Market!

    1. Thank you Marcia — aren’t you a sweetie!!! I will look up local specialty spices!! I’m leaving for Morocco this weekend and can’t wait to see the markets there! Take care, Shelley

  2. i really enjoy your arrangements of the ingredients at each stage, and the description of the preparation is always so clear. have put this one on my to-do list.

    1. Thanks Mike for your compliments! It is my intention to describe my recipes clearly and good to know that I have succeeded. You’ll love it when you try it yourself too!! Shelley

  3. Marcia Cantor · · Reply

    OMG!!! How wonderful! You probably won’t need anything from Turkey after Morocco.
    A conference, vacation, or both?

    1. All vacation! Looking forward to meals and tajines and touring and everything!! There is a particular Turkish pepper that I would love but we can discuss later!

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