Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Israeli Couscous - Pasta of the Month

You would think at my age (and I'm not telling!), I would already have sampled this pearl couscous!  But, grocery stores don't resemble what they were 20-30 years ago.  Food was so blah back then.  A slab of meat, potatoes or rice and a few steamed vegetables usually appeared nightly on the dinner table.   If you wanted a certain ethnic food, you might be able to get some tortillas and a can of refried beans!   Seriously!   Now, as I cruise the isles I'm open to trying  just about anything for variety.  It is the spice of life, right?

Israeli couscous is a type of pre-roasted pasta shaped like a small pearl.   I first tried it in a store bought Trader Joe's salad.  It looked interesting, why not!   Like regular couscous it lends itself to experimentation.  Hot or cold, alone, with olive oil or an assortment of veggies, the variations are endless!  These are the type of meals I like!


1 cup pearl couscous

1 1/4 cups water

1/2 cup or 2 green onions, chopped

1/8 cup currents or raisins

1 Tbsp lemon zest

1 loosely packed chopped fresh arugula or spinach

1 Tbsp lime or orange juice

pinch of salt

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup parboiled chopped broccoli

1/2 cup raw cashews

In a pot, place couscous and add boiling water.  Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes until done.  Drain and rinse with cold water.  Add the remaining ingredients except the cashews and mix well.  You'll add the nuts after chilling in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, at least.   This is a great side dish for a picnic or brunch.  You can make it ahead, even the day before.

NOTE: If you like your veggies cooked, throw them in a pan and saute a bit before adding to the couscous.

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