There was a Relief Society backyard dinner tonight and the menu was salads pot luck style. I signed up to bring something, but wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to be replicated by everyone else. I had seen this salad with pearl couscous in one of my Cooks Illustrated Magazines and tucked it away for a future date which happened to be tonight. It turned out good, kind of Mediterranean and different than the typical salads you come across.
ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD
- 1/3 C red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- salt and pepper
- 2 C Israeli couscous (or pearl couscous)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 1/2 C water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 oz (4 C) baby arugula, roughly chopped
- 1 C fresh mint leaves, torn
- 1/2 C frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 C pistachios, toasted and chopped
- 3 oz (1/4 C) feta cheese, crumbled
- Bring vinegar, sugar, and pinch of salt to smile in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Add shallots and stir to combine. Cover and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Drain and discard liquid.
- Heat couscous and oil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until about half of grains are golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add water and salt; stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed, 9-12 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and let stand, covered, for 3 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.
- Whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, red pepper flakes, and 1/8 tsp salt together in large bowl. Add cooled couscous, arugula, mint, peas, 6 Tbsp pistachios, 1/2 C feta, and shallots and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 C feta and remaining 2 Tbsp pistachios and serve.