Wednesday, February 9, 2011

a bag of pearl couscous is a terrible thing to go to waste.

where one needs to go in bremen to find a carton of israeli couscous continues to elude me. i mean, i'm sure it's somewhere... but that somewhere is probably a place i would never think/want to go to. bremen-nord? or bremerhaven (shudders).

considering the last time i went to bremerhaven, my boyfriend got food poisoning and i soul-poisoning, i doubt i'll be risking a similar experience any time soon on my quest to locate this perfectly plump and rounded pasta-like treat.

for most of you, however, it should be available in your local supermarket (trader joes!). it's not a whole grain, no, but it certainly feels healthy. and in the end, isn't it about how food makes you feel that matters?!?!


this salad is a lovely side or main dish with minimal ingredients but packing a lot of nice flavors, particularly because of the roasted tomatoes. if you're looking for a main course, toss in some feta and chickpeas. it a also stores really well in the fridge and get tastier as the flavors sink in. that said, you'll be lucky if you don't wipe the bowl clean on the first go.

israeli couscous salad:
1 1/2 cups israeli couscous

4 cups washed baby spinach

1/2 red onion, chopped fine

15 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cucumber, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup kalamata or black olives, pitted and halved

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1 handful chopped fresh parsley

6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

1 can chickpeas (optional)

what to do:

1. preheat oven to 250 degrees fahrenheit. halve tomatoes and place, cut sides up, in one layer on a baking pan. roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, approximately 1 hour. cool in pan on a rack for 30 minutes.

2. bring a pot of water to boil. add a pinch of salt and the couscous. reduce heat slightly and cook couscous in the water for 6-8 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

3. mix all salad ingredients, including tomatoes, in a large bowl. add cooked couscous, oil, vinegar and lemon juice and mix well. taste and add salt and pepper and/or additional dressing to taste, if desired.