Fresh summer salads are welcomed at every meal and this Nectarine & Edamame Couscous Salad with Smoked Almonds & Pickled Shallots will soon become your favorite too. Fresh ingredients and pops of texture, this lightly dressed and full of flavor salad is ideal for backyard barbecues and busy nights. A chilled salad goes a long way and is great for batch cooking to grab and go. Pair this salad with simple grilled chicken or steak and a cold seltzer, kombucha or beer. Cheers to more time with friends and family and less time in the kitchen!
The grocery list.
- pearl couscous — Tiny little round pasta balls this is much different than Israeli couscous in size and flavor, there is nothing like it!
- olive oil — High-quality is the way to go! The olive oil helps this dish shine so make sure it’s as fresh as can be.
- lemon juice — Lemon juice brings a brightness to all the flavors melded together in this salad.
- dijon mustard — The mustard adds a little tang to the dressing and we love the zippiness of this ingredient.
- kosher salt — Salt is a staple in any recipe!
- red pepper flakes — If spice is not your thing, simply omit. I love red pepper flakes because they are not hot but add a little layer of heat to the overall flavors.
- arugula — It’s hard to substitute any other green in this dish because arugula not only brings a peppery flavor to balance out the sweet of the nectarines and the saltiness of the feta/almonds but its holds up to the dressing. The arugula is one of few green that won’t wilt after being dressed making this ideal for meal prep or party planning.
- edamame — Great for adding pops of texture and a subtle flavor to the overall dish.
- nectarines — Nothing better than peak-freshness summer stone fruits. Feel free to swap out with peaches if those are the favorite in your house.
- feta cheese crumbles– Feta can also be swapped for crumbled goat cheese. We love the firmness of feta and the level of saltiness feta brings to this dish.
- smoked almonds — Smoked almond are not a must but I promise they have a place here. If you choose to swap these out for a basic almond, be sure to use a dry roasted and lightly salted nut!
- Quick Pickled Shallots — I cannot get enough of these quick pickled shallots on salads for added brightness, enough said!
First, cook the pearl couscous to package instructions. Second, while the couscous is cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and red pepper flakes. This is the dressing that brings it all together.
Third, place the arugula in a large serving bowl. Pour half the dressing over the arugula and toss until fully dressed. Set aside. Add the remaining dressing to the pot of fully cooked couscous. Toss to coat. Move the couscous to a ¼ sheet pan, spread out to a thin layer. Allow the couscous to cool for 15 minutes.
Lastly, once the couscous has cooled, add the couscous to the bowl of arugula. Toss to combine. Add the finishing touches to the salad with the edamame, nectarines, feta cheese and smoked almonds. Toss again. Top the salad with quick pickled shallots and serve!
This chilled salad is perfect for ANY occasion. It’s great for weekly meal prep and ideal for hosting. If you’re meal-prepping, make according to the instruction and then make a second batch of dressing. As the week goes by, the couscous will start to suck up all the dressing, leaving the salad a little dry. On day 3-4, drizzle the salad with some of your reserved dressing for a boost in flavor and texture and to bring the salad back to life.
Want something easy for hosting a dinner party? This is the side for you! Dinner parties (or holiday gatherings) can be stressful trying to time everything out. Cooking everything at once, hoping it’ll all be done at the exact perfect time for everyone to sit and enjoy it while it’s still hot. This salad is great for occasions like that because you can prep it hours before. Check one thing off your party hosting to-do list and turn your attention to other things because this salad will be chilling (literally) in the fridge waiting.
What to serve with Nectarine & Edamame Couscous Salad.
The nice thing about a salad like this is that it can stand alone. We’ve shared this as a meal many times with just simple grilled chicken on the side, and some times tossed right in! If you are looking for something a little more substantial but not something that is going to take away from the amazing flavors in this dish, here are a few to try:
Looking for more simple salads?
Here are a few to try:
Lastly, if you make this Nectarine & Edamame Couscous Salad w/ Smoked Almonds & Pickled Shallots recipe, be sure to leave a comment! Above all, I love to hear from ya’ll and do my best to respond to every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of your dayyyummm good recreations is my favorite!
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- 2 cups pearl couscous
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup edamame, shelled
- 2 cups nectarines, pitted and diced
- 8 ounces feta cheese crumbles
- ½ cup smoked almonds, rough chopped
- 2-4 tablespoons Quick Pickled Shallots
- Cook the pearl couscous to package instructions.
- While the couscous is cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, dijon mustard, salt and red pepper flakes.
- Place the arugula in a large serving bowl. Pour half the dressing over the arugula and toss until fully dressed. Set aside.
- Add the remaining dressing to the pot of fully cooked couscous. Toss to coat. Move the couscous to a ¼ sheet pan, spread out to a thin layer. Allow the couscous to cool for 15 minutes.
- Once the couscous has cooled, add the couscous to the bowl of arugula. Toss to combine. Add the edamame, nectarines, feta cheese and smoked almonds. Toss again. Top the salad with the quick pickled shallots and serve.
The salad is best served chilled and keeps well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-5 days. If the salad gets dry, simply whisk additional dressing together and dress before serving after it’s spent a day or two in the fridge.