Cooking Tips + Kitchen Tips

Published on July 5th, 2013 | by Tanya Sitton


Vegan Recipe: Arugula-Couscous Salad with Lemony Herb Vinaigrette


Summer’s in full swing now: ’tis well and truly the Season of the Salad! This pretty, filling dish makes a cool and easy lunch, or an elegant pot-luck contribution — without overheating your healthy vegan kitchen. Use freshly-snipped herbs for best flavor, and rejoice in how satisfying summer salads can be!


  • juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons agave (or real maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil (or 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill)
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 2 cups arugula leaves, well washed and patted dry
  • 1 cup cooked Israeli (pearled) couscous, cooled
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, raw or toasted
  • a few dashes of red pepper flakes, optional


Cook pearled couscous according to package directions, and rinse in cool water until room temp or cooler.

Toast pine nuts if desired, being careful not to let them burn; when they just start turning golden, set aside to cool.

Combine dressing ingredients except salt in blender, and pulse a few times until fairly smooth (but some herb bits are definitely ok!). Add salt to taste, and set aside. In a large bowl, combine arugula, couscous, red pepper flakes (if using) and 1/4 cup of the dressing. Toss well to combine.

Top salad with red bell pepper, capers, and pine nuts, and serve at once with the remaining dressing alongside. Nom!

Production Notes

If you’re making this dish ahead of time, assemble salad with all ingredients except dressing and pine nuts; add the pine nuts to the salad just before mealtime, and serve the dressing on the side.

I love arugula for this salad, but you can easily substitute any fresh farmers’-market greenery. Massaged kale also works very well here; to use chard or collards, trim leaves from stem, roll ’em up, and slice into thin ribbons. Then use a steamer basket to cook the greens until just tender. Refrigerate until cool, and add to salad in arugula’s stead.

For maximum non-kitchen-hotness, prepare the couscous the night before (in the cool of the evening), and let it chill in the fridge until needed.

Makes 4-5 servings.


Image credit: Creative Commons photo by BlueberryFiles.

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About the Author

is an ecovore, veganist, messy chef, green girl, food revolutionary, and general free-thinkin' rabble-rouser. M.S. in a health profession, with strong interests in biology, nutrition, and healthy living - find her on .

3 Responses to Vegan Recipe: Arugula-Couscous Salad with Lemony Herb Vinaigrette

  1. Pingback: Olive Oil's Sublime and Scandalous Story - Eat Drink Better

  2. Pingback: 9 Healthy Summer Salads | Feelgood Style

  3. Maria Mooney says:

    My name is Maria, and I am the editorial assistant here at We’d love to publish your arugula recipe from our 9 Phenomenal Arugula Recipes blog in our recipe section on All we need is your approval, and we will link back to your website. Please e-mail me at and let me know.

    Thank you!

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