ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD – A New Favorite In Our Home!

Israeli coucous salad textI’m always interested in new salads – one can only eat so many lettuce and tomato dinner salads. My ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD combines Israeli couscous (aka pearl couscous) with arugula, mint, dried cranberries, pistachio nuts, and feta cheese with a tasty vinaigrette.

It makes a delicious addition to a meal or, in larger portions, it’s filling enough to be a meal itself.

While preparing ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD is fairly quick, the marinated shallots need 30 minutes to steep – so plan ahead.

Note:  After the couscous is boiled, the instructions say to spread it out on a cookie sheet to cool and dry. DON’T do as I did the first few times and use paper towels or waxed paper (unless you double layer it). The towels and paper will tear, and the couscous will stick – it will be a mess!!!!  Pour the couscous straight on the sheet.

ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD – makes about 10 cups

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 2 sliced shallots
  • 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 5T extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1/2 cup salted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup peas (if using frozen, thaw before using)
  • 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 oz arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup mint, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, shallots, and a pinch of salt. Bring to simmer, cover, and turn off burner. Let sit for 30 minutes to marinate and slightly cook shallots.

In a medium sized saucepan, put 1T olive oil and couscous. Using a medium/high flame toast couscous until it starts to brown (about 5 minutes), stirring often to cook evenly and  prevent burning. Add in the water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to boil, lower heat to keep a simmer, cover, and cook 9 minutes – until most of water has been absorbed. Turn off heat and let pot sit covered for another 3-4 minutes to allow the rest of water to absorb. Pour onto a large rimmed cookie sheet, spreading couscous out to cool and dry for at least 15 minutes.

Whisk together remaining 4 T olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, 1/4 tsp salt, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

After shallots are done steeping pour into a strainer, discarding liquid.

Into a very large bowl, place the shallots, couscous, arugula, mint, peas, feta, and cranberries. Pour in the vinaigrette and blend. When ready to serve, add in pistachios and toss.

 

 

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