Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad Recipe Challenge

Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad

I got sidetracked from making Israeli Couscous and Tuna Salad last week but I gave it another go this week. As you can see the basil leaves are a little wilted but all in all this is a yummy and very easy recipe. I made it for dinner and it was very satisfying. Because it was after 5pm, I didn’t feel bad washing it all down with some wine.

The recipe is very easy, I made it exactly as directed with only 2 changes. One, I couldn’t find roasted red peppers in a jar or capers, so I grabbed a random jar of spicy pickled vegetables from Trader Joe’s and it worked great. Second, I thought I had plain Israeli couscous but I didn’t. I had a mix that had couscous in it with some other stuff but it was good, too. Contessa Garten’s recipes are very forgiving. I never worry that I don’t have the exact ingredients (except when baking, everything has to be exact or it’s a disaster.)

I also halved the recipe since it made a lot, and I’m the only one who will be eating it. Enjoy! (I was wrong about my being the only one eating it, I gave some to older son and he loved it so much I made another batch and gave it to him to eat during his last ever finals week.)


  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (10 to 12 ounces)
  • 2 7oz cans or jars of tuna
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives, coarsely chopped (3 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup jarred roasted red peppers, medium-diced (4 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped scallions (6-8 scallions)
  • 1/4 cup julienned fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium-size saucepan. Add the couscous and reduce the heat to very low. Cover the pot and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes, until the couscous is just tender. (I pull the pot halfway off the heat.) Drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, combine the tuna, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, capers, olives, red peppers, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper in a large bowl. Pour the hot couscous into the mixture and stir well. Cover and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir in the scallions, basil, juice of the 1/2 lemon, and 1 more teaspoon of salt. Taste for seasonings and serve warm or at room temperature.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *