Israeli Couscous Salad
Those of you who are unfamiliar with what Couscous is, its like very small pasta that comes from the Middle east and can be prepared in many different ways. There are 2 variety of couscous, one is just the regular couscous and one is Israeli couscous. I am not sure if regular couscous is called something else in particular or just couscous but anyways the star of this recipe is the Israeli Couscous which according to me is way better tasting than the regular stuff. And since I like it so much better than the other one- it is of course NOT very easily available in Orlando. The ones I have seen at Publix are pretty expensive almost like they are selling gold shaving inside the box.
My sister in law who lives in Michigan is sweet enough to either mail me the packets or bring me some whenever she visits us. So if you live in Michigan then you can get your hands on it pretty easily, if not then get it either from Publix or Whole Foods or try finding it at an ethnic (Middle Eastern) store in you area.
The regular couscous is a grain product and its like little grain particles, whereas Israeli couscous looks more like little pearls, to me it tastes similar to tapioca pearls or sabudana. If you’d like then this recipe can be prepared with the regular couscous also but if you can get the Israeli variety then please go for it, it’s totally worth it!
Things you will need:
1 cup Israeli Couscous (dried)
½ Zucchini cut into cubes
½ onion thinly sliced
1 potato thinly sliced or cubed like zucchini
1 carrot diced
½ red bell pepper diced (optional)
Handful of toasted pine nuts
2 tbs olive oil and more for stir frying the veggies
Dried herbs- parsley & mint
Salt and pepper
Cook the couscous as per the directions on the package. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the onions to it. Cook them till they get transparent and then add the carrots, zucchini and bell pepper at the same time and stir fry them till the zucchini is cooked through. In another pan heat some olive oil and add the potatoes and stir fry them till a little brown. Add some parsley to it while stir frying. Then add some (4 tbs) water to the potatoes and cover them till cooked through.
In a large salad bowl put 4 tbs olive oil, add the juice of one lemon, salt and pepper and whisk it thoroughly till its all combined- it will look like a pale colored sauce.
Add the cooked couscous, cooked veggies (including the potatoes) and pine nuts to it and mix well. Then add the dried herbs to it and mix some more. Taste it at this point and adjust the salt or lemon if you feel the need.
Serve it warm or at room temperature. It makes as a great side dish or an evening snack.