Pearl, or Israeli couscous, is different from the golden grains of North African couscous. It’s a very small semolina pasta that is rolled into balls, then is toasted to dry. It’s very quick cooking and makes a wonderful salad that can feed a crowd and keep in the refrigerator for several days without getting soggy.


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add couscous; toast until lightly golden.

  2. Bring eight cups water and one tablespoon salt to a boil. Add couscous; cook for about 10 minutes or just until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water; place in a large serving bowl.

  3. Heat two teaspoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chicken; sauté for about 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Cook to internal temp of 165°F. Cool.

  4. While the chicken is cooling, prepare the dressing. Grate the zest from lemon; juice lemon. Whisk together juice, zest, pesto, two tablespoons olive oil, and vinegar.

  5. Add chicken, tomatoes, and olives to couscous. Toss with dressing until well coated; season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve over greens, if desired.


Nutritional values may change if you choose to substitute another chicken product. If substituting frozen chicken for this recipe, thaw before cooking.