As you know from my previous post, I LOVE couscous. What is couscous exactly? It’s a coarsely ground pasta made from semolina, a type of wheat. Why do I love it? It’s versatile, healthy (loaded with protein, selenium and potassium) and it’s quick to prepare.
Today’s recipe is a beautiful fusion of Israeli couscous (pearl couscous), dried fruits, fresh herbs, local cheese and nuts inspired by friend and Executive Chef, Robin Lehnhoff-McCray.
This easy lunch or light dinner option pairs perfectly with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a warm afternoon on the patio. Enjoy and cheers to the warmer days ahead!
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill for 1 hour then serve.
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
½ cup Meyer lemon juice
¼ cup orange juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Combine zest, mustard, juices, sugar and parsley. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (This recipe makes 1 ½ cups of vinaigrette. Save the remaining dressing and toss with fresh greens the next day!)
Couscous is truly a must-have in my pantry at all times. I always have a box or two as backup for a quick meal or a perfect side dish. Not only is it extremely versatile but it’s an easy way to add a grain to your meal without investing a lot of time. Seriously. Grill up some veggies and toss it with some couscous and you have a delicious lunch or dinner. Toss the cooked couscous with some olive oil, lemon and a little bit of salt and pepper and you have an easy side dish that pairs well any poultry, fish or meat.
A simple recipe that I make a few times a month is this quick and easy Couscous Tabbouleh Salad. Enjoy!
1 1/4 cups couscous
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (1 – 1½ lemon should be perfect)
1 diced tomato
1/2 diced green pepper
1/2 chopped onion
4 Tablespoons parsley
1 Tablespoon mint
Salt and pepper, to taste
What I like to do is boil the water in a saute pan over the stove. Once boiling, I turn off the stove and add the dry couscous, olive oil, lemon juice and stir to combine. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes. While the couscous is cooking, prepare the tomatoes, green peppers, onions and herbs. After the 5 minutes are up, fluff the couscous with a fork and add the vegetables, herbs and salt and pepper. Toss lightly and serve warm or refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Fluff salad with fork again and serve.
Makes 5 servings.
Variations: Stuff roasted bell peppers with this salad or wrap it up in a pita! Get creative and share with us your couscous recipe ideas on Twitter! – Cheers, Crystal
Question: What’s a staple food item in YOUR pantry?