Cherry Couscous & Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Ruby-red Bing cherries are used in this salad during the summer. Couscous and pistachios, two of my favorite Middle Eastern ingredients, complete the dish. I also included goat cheese for a creamy element and celery for some complimentary crunch.

These unusual items are combined by homemade balsamic vinaigrette. This green salad is hearty, light, and incredibly cooling.

I’m tuned into the languid summer frequency. You also? Let’s accept it. Let’s enjoy the sunset while relaxing in the shade. Drink cold beverages. Jump in the water. Organize a game night on the porch. During yoga class, stretch. do perhaps even less effort (and not feel bad about it). Let’s also eat lots of large, fresh salads. salads like this cherry-topped beauty you’re looking at.

Over the past week, I’ve been eating large bowls of this salad for lunch. It is a versatile recipe. Use any kind of sweet cherry, or experiment with sliced plum or peach, another stone fruit. If you like, you can use quinoa instead of the couscous (check the notes for details). Salutations to summertime salads!

Also read: Strawberry and Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Goat Cheese



  • ¾ cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Several twists of freshly ground black pepper

Balsamic vinaigrette (this makes extra)

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar
  • Generous amount freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt


  • 4 big handfuls arugula
  • ½ pound cherries (about 2 big handfuls), pitted, halved and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (to yield about ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese)
  • ⅓ cup shelled pistachios or almonds (choose slivered or sliced almonds and you can skip the chopping step)


  1. To make the couscous: Bring ¾ cup water to boil in a small saucepan. Once it’s boiling, remove the pan from heat and pour in the couscous, olive oil, sea salt and a few twists of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the couscous with a fork and set it aside for later.
  2. To make the dressing: Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl until emulsified.
  3. To toast the nuts: In a skillet over medium-low heat, toast the nuts, tossing frequently, until fragrant, about 3 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and use a chef’s knife to chop the nuts into small pieces.
  4. To compose the salad: In a large serving bowl, combine the arugula, sliced cherries, chopped celery, crumbled goat cheese and chopped nuts. Drizzle with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the greens (you might only need half of the dressing) and toss to combine. Serve immediately.