Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Israeli Couscous Salad

Before I talk about my salad, let me first start off by apologizing for my little hiatus from blogging/cooking. I was away at Middlebury College for the summer, where I was back to eating in a dining hall. And even though I've already been home from Vermont for over a month, it's taken me a while to get settled and attend to a few important things. Luckily Rona was around to blog while I was away and during my brief stint with laziness.

That being said, today I prepared a salad that was inspired by something similar I tried at my supermarket's salad bar. So, I normally only eat Near East couscous that is microwavable in 5 minutes. Israeli couscous is completely different and honestly new to me, despite my familiarity with Israeli food. According to Wikipedia, Israeli couscous is actually toasted pasta. ANYWAY, it's delicious and that's really all that matters.

Using couscous as the body of a salad is very similar to using quinoa--like something I did here. So really, the choice of ingredients to incorporate are up to the chef and his or her craving that day. I added olives, cucumbers, and peas in my variation of the salad, but's up to you!

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 1/4 cups water (or chicken broth for more flavor)
1/2 large cucumber, cut and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 can black olives, cut into quarters
Canned green peas
Bunch fresh parsley, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
Olive oil to taste
Salt & Pepper to taste

1) Add 1 1/4 cups of boiling water to 1 cup of Israel couscous. Cover pot and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, salt to taste.

2) Once water has evaporated, rinse couscous under cold water so it does not stick together. Then transfer to bowl and fluff it up.

3) Add chopped parsley and mix. Next add cut up cucumber, peas, and olives and mix with hands to evenly distribute.

4) Finally, add vinegar, oil, salt and paper to taste, mixing evenly.

5) Refrigerate and serve once salad is cool.

Nice and easy, and only takes a few minutes to prepare!


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