elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: Israeli couscous

Last week, Fishkill Farms was offering pasture-raised lamb at the Carroll Gardens Farmers Market. As relatively novice meat eaters, we were unsure what to order. We went with the lamb sausage. We picked it up this morning, and made this salad this evening. I got the recipe from the Whole Foods app, and it’s spicy and delicious! 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl couscous (also known as Israeli or Middle Eastern couscous)
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • Zest and juice from 1 large lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lamb merguez or other lamb sausage links
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in water and salt and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed and couscous is just tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. While couscous cooks, whisk together lemon zest, juice, remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Remove 2 tablespoons dressing and set aside for basting.

3. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Grill sausages and peppers, basting with the reserved 2 tablespoons dressing and turning frequently. When sausage is cooked through and peppers are tender, 10 to 15 minutes, remove from grill. Slice sausage into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and peppers into bite-size pieces. Put in a bowl with couscous. Toss with olive oil-lemon dressing and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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I like to pack my lunch for work, but get tired of sandwiches. As an easy alternative, I will sometimes make a hearty salad to have a few bites of as part of dinner, and then take some to go for lunch the next day. Thanks to Food and Wine magazine’s August 2011 issue for this recipe. You can substitute pretty much any large grain for the Israeli couscous (such as freekah or coarse bulgur). Do you have any other creative lunch ideas? Post them below or send me a message! 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups packed arugula (6 ounces)
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (12 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pints small tomatoes (cherry or grape), halved
  • 4 yellow or orange tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice

Directions:

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the 6 cups of arugula and blanch for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the arugula to a colander. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain thoroughly.
  2. Add the Israeli couscous to the boiling water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the couscous and spread it out on a large baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to prevent it from clumping. Let the couscous cool to room temperature.
  3. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Squeeze the excess water from the blanched arugula and coarsely chop it. Transfer the arugula to a food processor. Add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese, and 1/2 cup olive oil and process until the pine nuts are finely chopped. Season the arugula pesto with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir in the arugula pesto. Gently fold in the tomatoes.