If you need a salad in a hurry, try this Giant Couscous Antipasti Salad – minimal prep required, and a great side dish or meal in itself! This salad stores well in glass jars (my preferred item for food storage), making it fab for meal prep as a yummy mason jar salad.
Giant Couscous Antipasti Salad
Antipasto (plural antipasti) is the traditional first course of a formal Italian meal. Typical ingredients of a traditional antipasto include cured meats, olives, peperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses (such as provolone or mozzarella), pickled meats, and vegetables in oil or vinegar. – Wikipedia
What you put in your antipasti salad is up to you – I’ve kept mine vegetarian – but select your favourites from your local deli, or from the deli counter at the supermarket. Over the years, my local supermarket has really expanded its range of antipasti, making this a really accessible dish to make.
I’m loving giant couscous at the moment, which I bought from the supermarket in the same aisle as the pasta and regular couscous. It turns out though that it’s not actually couscous at all! Info from the Merchant Gourmet website (the brand of giant couscous we bought)
Regular couscous is made with semolina, whereas the giant version is made with various types of flour, and essentially is small balls of pasta. It was invented in the 1950s, after Israel’s first president, David Ben-Gurion asked the Osem Food Company to devise a wheat-based substitute for rice during the country’s austerity period. Its name depends on the type of flour it is made from, or the country it is from. It can also be called Ptitim, Maftouc, Mograbiah, Gredola, Jersualem Couscous, Pearl Couscous or Ben-Gurion Rice. Since it is twice as big as regular couscous, we’ll stick to giant couscous! You learn something new everyday!
Giant couscous is toasted, rather than dried, so this gives it a nutty flavour, with a light, yet hearty texture. If you’ve never tried it before, I highly recommend it as an ingredient, and of course, to try my recipe! When the autumn and winter months come around, I plan to try using it in soups and stews.
This recipe is super easy, and the “hardest” part is cooking the giant couscous! I cooked the couscous for around 8 minutes in some vegetable stock to give it some added flavour. That’s it!
All that is left to do is chop up the various antipasti ingredients you have bought – I used sun-dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, artichokes, red pepper pearls, sweet onions, black olives, green olives stuffed with garlic, and mozzarella pearls. Because there was plenty of flavour and oil from all of these ingredients, I didn’t need to add any more to the salad – but you be the judge when you make it at home!
Other additions to this antipasti salad could be: aubergine, courgette, mushrooms, capers, peppadew peppers, beans, anchovies, salami, prosciutto – the latter three are obviously not vegetarian.
The peppers were already sliced into thin strips, but I chopped them up into halves and thirds. I halved the olives, and chopped up the artichokes and tomatoes. The onions were small, but I didn’t have many, so I chopped them into quarters – same for the mozzarella! I kept the little red pepper pearls whole – these cute little morsels are spicy and sweet, and pack more of a punch than you might think!
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- 300g giant couscous
- vegetable stock cube
- variety of antipasti such as:
- green olives
- black olives
- roasted bell peppers
- red pepper pearls
- sun dried tomatoes
- Cook the couscous in water with a crumbled stock cube for around 8 minutes (or according to the package instructions).
- Meanwhile, chop up larger antipasti into smaller bite size pieces.
- When the couscous is cooked, drain and add the antipasti ingredients. Stir everything together.
- If you have any leftover oil from the antipasti, add that as a dressing to the salad.
- Check for flavouring - you might want to add some extra herbs, some lemon juice, or salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately, or store in the fridge until required.
Other recipes you might like:
- Giant Couscous Salad with Roasted Aubergine, Parsley & Pomegranate
- Pesto, Orzo & Cannellini Bean Salad
- Antipasti Pasta Salad