Couscous is a go-to for the author when she prepares meals at a charity kitchen where she volunteers, since it can be prepared quickly and is a filling, affordable side dish that accommodates many different flavors.

The combination of lemon and herbs with salty feta cheese is an ideal bed for the Stewy Zucchini, Peppers + Chickpeas (see related recipe).


  • 1 1/2 cups plain quick-cooking couscous (uncooked)
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • Kosher salt
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Step 1

Combine the couscous, boiling water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl, stirring to incorporate. Cover the bowl tightly with a plate or plastic wrap; let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork.

Step 2

Stir in the lemon zest and juice, oil, parsley and dill, tossing until well incorporated.

Step 3

Taste, and season with more salt, as needed. Transfer the couscous to a serving bowl, then scatter the feta on top. Serve at room temperature.

From cookbook author Julia Turshen.

Tested by Jacob Brogan; email questions to

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Calories: 480; Total Fat: 21 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Cholesterol: 20 mg; Sodium: 270 mg; Carbohydrates: 67 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 3 g; Protein: 16 g.