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A deliciously slightly sweet couscous salad loaded with bites of chewy apricots, dates, and figs, and a bit of crunch from the sliced almonds. Lightly flavoured with lemon juice and olive oil, this easy-to-prepare Israeli Couscous Dried Fruit Salad is a perfect side dish or meal all on its own. 

I have a love affair happening right now with dried fruit. I’ve never been a stranger to dried fruit, but as I have mentioned in previous posts, my tastes are changing greatly as I get… ahem… more mature!

Apricots were always present in my mom’s kitchen; as were dates. Figs though, were not.  Fresh figs were not easy to come by when I was growing up in Newfoundland.  In fact, the first time I ever tasted a fresh fig was last year.  As soon as I bit into it – oh, I so did not want to do that; they do not look appealing at all! – I loved it!

And just my luck, now that I had tasted this new fruit, and wanted more, I learned that they were extremely expensive – like, very extremely expensive! Wow!  If memory serves me correctly, I found figs on sale last summer and even with the sale price, they were still nearly $15 for 8!  I just couldn’t bring myself to buy them.

My luck changed when I found dried figs.  I didn’t even know they were a thing.  Do I live a sheltered life or something?  Anyway, dried figs are not as good as fresh figs, but they sure do hold a wonderful flavour and are certainly more wallet-friendly.

After Christmas had passed, I found my pantry well stocked with dried fruits. I tried to use most of them up over the holidays in my baking, and even loaded them onto a cheese platter for Mah-jong games night with our friends, but I still had lots left.

I also had a mason jar with a fair amount of Israeli couscous in it that I wanted to use up as well. After a bit of thinking – what do make; what to make – I came up with this Israeli Couscous Dried Fruit Salad.  And, oh, Dear Reader, it’s wonderful! 

Cold right from the fridge, or at room temperature, this salad is sure to tickle your taste buds. With the simple flavour combinations and the many textures in your mouth, this is one salad that will surely have you asking for more.  It’s true; just ask Lesli, Vera, Margaret, and Zdenka.  I took the entire dish to work and shared it with them for lunch; everyone loved it.  Even Vera, which was great, because Vera is a meat and potatoes kinda gal!  #officewin

Israeli Couscous Dried Fruit Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Lord Byron's Kitchen
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups Israeli couscous uncooked
  • 1 cup dates chopped
  • 1 cup apricots chopped
  • 1 cup dried figs chopped
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. To prepare the couscous, bring to a boil two cups of water with a pinch of salt in a large pot. Once the water is at a rolling boil, turn off the heat, add the couscous, stir, and place a lid on the pot. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Once the couscous is cooked and cooled, toss the couscous with a fork to loosen the grains.
  3. Next, begin to assemble the salad by adding all ingredients into the pot of cooled, cooked couscous.
  4. Toss well to combine.
  5. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  6. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. My husband loves any recipe that has tons of dried fruit in it. My taste buds are not mature enough for that and I have my preferences on what I like with dried fruits. Love how the couscous dried fruit salad looks and my husband would totally love this. I have been seeing this beautiful couscous pearls at our local market and have been tempted to buy some. This seems like a good recipe to try.
  2. This a fabulous looking dried fruit salad. Look at all of those colors! I can relate to your story about fresh figs. I discovered dried figs in Turkey - and super cheap. Since then I have been hooked as they make a great snack and also good in stews where they re-hydrate. I haven't tried them yet in a couscous salad but this looks gorgeous, so here is my opportunity.
    1. Hi Ruby! Thank you. I have not prepared posts/recipes directly to target a diabetic-friendly diet, but I will certainly try to do that.
  3. This looks amazing, Byron! My gosh forget it as a side, I could eat it as a meal or as a dessert. we do like our Israeli couscous and sometimes it's hard to find. The powdery kind is everywhere. The pearl couscous is so much better. We never have any leftovers, hubby makes sure of that. :-) I'm pinning your recipe to make as soon as I pick up some Israeli couscous. Great recipe!!
  4. I've actually never really used a lot of dried fruit but think this would be a great way to eat it mixed in a salad. And with the lemon and olive oil I can only imagine the flavors of the fruit would just stand out. Love your pictures of this..they're so bright and colorful.
  5. One of the wonderful things about here in Israel - yes, I live in Israel. We get amazing fresh fruits and at good price. Delicious FIGS!! They come in abundance and I make almost anything I can from Jam to Fig tarts and cheesecakes. I love making couscous with dried fruits too! In fact it's very festive here and my mom in law would make it often at family gatherings. Love this recipe - cannot wait to try!
  6. Aren't fresh figs wonderful? My MIL brought some home from California last year and I had wished she'd brought a lot more home! I love all the dried fruit in this couscous salad and the addition of the almonds for some crunch. I will absolutely have to try this soon as I think it will be delightful to serve alongside some pork.
  7. You know a recipe is good when the entire office loves it! I'm afraid the only figs I've been exposed to have been fig newton cookies. Somehow, I'm pretty sure that's a totally different thing. LOL
  8. I'm a huge fan of figs - especially fresh ones. Well, I live in the mediterranean country, would be almost a blasphemy if I say I don't like them heheh This salad looks really delicious. Couscous may sound quite boring, but you just showed that it could be part of the beautiful healthy dish. Sharing this!
  9. The dates, figs, and apricots immediately reminded me of Sephardic charoset! Of course, there would never be couscous in charoset, but whenever I see salads with dried fruit, it's the first thing I think about. This looks delicious and a great way to enjoy one of my favorite flavor combinations the rest of the year.
  10. This looks amazing Byron !! I would totally serve this as a star dish of my meal. I love couscous and of course dry-fruits, so I would surely make a bowl all for myself after all the Valentine's food that we had.
  11. Disappointed in the end result. Expensive use of dried fruit that didn't result in what I expected. Just pearl couscous with dried fruit. Sorry that I can't give this a good review.
    1. Sorry to hear that, Karen. The salad is meant to be light and not have a strong taste. The dish supposed to highlight the sweetness of the dried fruit, and accent that with the sourness of the lemon.

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