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Spinach and Artichoke Salad with Couscous Cakes and Feta

Scott Phillips

Servings: three.

Quick-to-cook couscous cakes make this meatless main-course salad satisfying.


For the dressing:

  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint
  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the couscous cakes:

  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1-1/2 tsp.)
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil

For the salad:

  • 8 oz. baby spinach, washed and dried (about 6 lightly packed cups)
  • 1 14-oz. can artichoke bottoms, drained, rinsed, and sliced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. crumbled feta (about 1/4 cup)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 710
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 390
  • Fat (g): 44
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24
  • Cholesterol (mg): 155
  • Sodium (mg): 1580
  • Carbohydrates (g): 63
  • Fiber (g): 9
  • Protein (g): 20


Make the dressing:

  • In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, sour cream, and mint. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the couscous cakes:

  • Put the couscous and 1 tsp. salt in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water to the couscous, cover the bowl with a pan lid or plate, and let sit for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Coarsely chop the garlic in a food processor. Add the parsley and pulse until finely chopped. Add the chickpeas and 1 tsp. salt and pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • Uncover the couscous and fluff with a fork. Stir in the chickpea mixture, eggs, and lemon zest until well combined. Press the couscous mixture into a 1/4-cup measure, smooth the top, and invert the measuring cup to release the cake onto a plate. Repeat with the remaining couscous mixture to make 9 cakes.
  • Heat 1-1/2 Tbs. of the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Add 5 of the couscous cakes to the skillet and use a spatula to lightly flatten the cakes so they’re about 3/4 inch thick. Cook, flipping once, until crisp and golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. vegetable oil to the skillet and cook the remaining cakes the same way.

Assemble the salad:

  • In a large bowl, toss the spinach, artichokes, and tomatoes with about three-quarters of the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper and divide among 3 large plates. Top each salad with 3 couscous cakes, sprinkle each salad with feta, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Phyllo Chips with Vanilla Ice Cream & Strawberry Mash Dip makes the perfect dessert.


Rate or Review

Reviews (17 reviews)

  • grlup | 09/13/2012

    Very good. Light yet filling. Agree with other reviewers in regard to two issues. 1.) the dressing was a bit too tart for my liking. When making this the next time I reduced the amount of lemon juice. 2) the couscous cakes did seem "flat" when made according to the recipe. I have made these several times now and I now add a generous tablespoon of za'atar to the cake mixture before forming into shape and cooking.

  • Auralyn | 06/19/2012

    An original idea for a salad that tasted very good. I did alter the seasoning of the cakes a tad, though, because I thought they tasted a little flat -I added a drizzle of honey, a drizzle of rice vinegar and a little olive oil, and I thought it helped round up the flavor. And the dressing was too sour for my liking so again, I added a little honey and a sprinkling of coriander. We did enjoy the results, and I thought the couscous cakes were very fun to make!

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