A room temperature salad made with Mediterranean couscous is one of my go-to’s when it comes to summer entertaining. It’s beautiful, different, substantial, and versatile—and if you have vegetarians at the table, it absolutely counts as a main course pasta salad. That’s a lot to ask from a pasta or grain salad, but I promise you that this Mediterranean couscous delivers.
You can use regular Israeli couscous, but I am loving this blend of Israeli Couscous, Orzo, Peas and Lentils. The added vegetables give it even more texture and color, so it’s a great side dish and a satisfying base for soups and salads.
Also, can I tell how how much I love these grilled artichoke hearts? I almost had to make the salad without them because I ate so many during the prep. The only person who loves artichokes more than me is my sister, and she loves them in a way that some people love their children. (Though she would not eat her children. I’m pretty sure.) When you use oil-marinated artichoke hearts, some of the oil remains even after you drain them, so that eliminates the need to add additional oil to this salad.
This salad can be made up to two days ahead of time; just bring it back to room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Use vegetable broth if you want this to be a vegetarian salad (always a good idea if you’re not sure if there is a vegetarian in the group).