Recipes: Israeli couscous with watermelon, watercress and feta

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves 8 (as a side dish)

This refreshing salad blends sweet and salty. It will hold an hour or two in the refrigerator but is best served immediately. Substitute spinach or arugula for watercress if you wish.

Recipe adapted by the Detroit Free Press from "Weeknights With Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner" by Giada De Laurentiis (Clarkson Potter, $35, 240 pages).


2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous

One seedless watermelon, about 4 pounds

One 8-ounce block feta cheese

Grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups (packed) watercress or arugula


In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt to boil over medium-high heat. Stir in the couscous and reduce the heat so the mixture simmers. Cover the pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until the couscous is tender. Drain and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove and discard the watermelon rind. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside. Cut the block of feta in half horizontally so you have two blocks. Cut each block into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, olive oil, honey, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add the cooled couscous, watermelon, feta and watercress. Gently toss ingredients to evenly combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Per serving: 268 calories (43 percent from fat), 13 grams fat (5 grams sat. fat), 33 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 615 mg sodium, 25 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber