Israeli Couscous Fruit Salad with Basil

posted in: Recipes, Salads, Sides | 0


Every year in early summer the craving for a picnic hits. Unfortunately, in south Texas, that’s when the extreme heat, humidity, and mosquitoes show up, too.

This year, I got smart and got my act together in February. I found a cute picnic cooler and I was ready when the nice weather hit at the end of the month. Then when my birthday came around in April, I was able to throw together a picnic at the last second for the beach.

For a picnic last week, I put together a big grilled veggie sandwich on ciabatta and made some brownies.  To round out the meal, I wanted a pasta salad, but I also wanted to have some of the gorgeous summer fruit that’s just hitting the market. I didn’t know if a fruit and pasta salad was possible, but then I remembered that I had seen Israeli couscous salads with fruit in them a time or two. And tomatoes are fruit, right? So I thought they belonged in this salad too. With the basil, yogurt, and lemon, the whole thing was quite refreshing.

I promise you that this combination of ingredients is not weird at all once you have a taste. However, if you’re feeding kids or picky eaters, the yogurt dressing makes a great dip for plain fruit, and it would be easy to make some extra dressing and slice some extra fruit just in case.

Oleanders are in bloom.
Oleanders are in bloom.


So are magnolias.
So are magnolias.


And I'm drinking Pinot Grigio from my husband's shoe. All is right in the world.
And I’m drinking Pinot Grigio from my husband’s shoe. All is right in the world.

Israeli Couscous Fruit Salad with Basil

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 6.


  • 1-3/4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 (6-ounce) carton plain coconut milk yogurt
  • 1 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 2 peaches, peeled and diced
  • 10-12 strawberries, stemmed and diced
  • 12 cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves, cut into thin slices


Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes until water is absorbed. Fluff couscous with a fork.

Stir together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and agave nectar. Combine with the couscous, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, and basil. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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