Lemon Israeli Couscous with Radicchio

I have a small crush on Israeli couscous. It must be the texture or the way it reminds me of my grandmother’s comforting “ball soup” growing up. Israeli couscous is a larger, more pearl-like version of standard couscous. It is made from semolina wheat flour and it is closer to pasta than anything else. Israeli couscous can be used in salads, soups or as a base for chicken or fish.

Radicchio is a popular Italian vegetable and it looks like a mini cabbage but it is actually chicory, and has a slightly sharp taste. The chopped radicchio adds great color and freshness to this dish. I added toasted sliced almonds but pine nuts would work very well also in this dish.


  • Radicchio is a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals and has high levels of antioxidants.
  • By cooking the couscous in the stock, we add flavor.  This serves as the base for the light dressing – using only lemon juice and zest to complement it.


Lemon Israeli Couscous with Radicchio

A light pasta dish that includes lemon and radicchio.

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 12 mins


1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
2 Cups Israeli Couscous
1.5 Cups Chicken Stock, Sodium Reduced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Grated Lemon Zest
2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Small Head Radicchio, Finely Chopped
3 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Flat Leaf Parsley
1/2 Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds
1/3 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste


Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook until tender and aromatic.
Add the couscous, stir well and cook 2-3 minutes or until the pearls are coated with oil and very lightly toasted.
Add the stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer on low until the couscous is tender, about 12 minutes.
The couscous should be creamy when stirred, and if it is too dry add a tablespoon or two of chicken broth.
Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice and let cool slightly.
Add parsley, radicchio, nuts and cheese.
Toss to distribute ingredients evenly. This recipe is meant to be consumed right away alongside your meal. It does not keep well as the radicchio leaves will lose their color within hours.