Israeli Couscous Salad
I think that if couscous and pasta ever had a love child, it would look like Israeli couscous, which isn’t really a couscous at all but is really a pasta in the shape of large couscous. Are you confused yet? Hopefully not. Anyways, I love making this Israeli couscous salad. It’s a great side dish, which is easy to make, and it’s super yummy alongside chicken, fish, beef, you name it! Plus, it’s great to eat all year round.
A close-up view of this somewhat strange pasta-slash-couscous. I used a tricolored variety (why not!?), but I usually get the plain stuff, which is, you guessed it, pasta colored.
I like using sliced almonds for this recipe, but slivered almonds would work just as well. Additionally, you could substitute the dried cranberries for currants, raisins, or even diced dried apricots (I think I’ll try that next time, actually!)
I used orange zest in this recipe, although lemon would also work. This orange happens to have a green skin (it’s native to the Dominican Republic), but a regular naval orange would do just fine and would have roughly the same flavor.
One of the key steps in making this dish is to let the couscous cool after you cook it, but without allowing it to get too sticky. One trick is to drizzle a little olive oil over top of the warm couscous and toss to coat. This will prevent sticking while you allow it to cool. If you mix everything together while the couscous is still warm, the mint will wilt, and that’s no good.
I served mine with a Greek chopped salad (recipe to follow) and some balsamic chicken.
Israeli Couscous Salad – serves 6
Adapted from the recipe by Giada de Laurentiis
2 c Israeli Couscous, dry
1 c Fresh Mint, roughly chopped
1 c Sliced Almonds, toasted
1 c Dried Cranberries
Zest of 1 Orange
Juice of 1 Orange
Salt and Pepper
Cook the couscous according to package instructions. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat couscous. Allow to cool to at least room temperature before combining couscous with the other ingredients. Once cool, combine couscous, mint, almonds, cranberries, orange zest, and orange juice in a bowl. Drizzle with additional olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Nutrition Information (Approximate Values): 300 Calories, 6g Fat, 8g Protein, 2g Fiber, 55g Carbohydrates
Not exactly low calorie…but delicious!