Curried Israeli Couscous

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Israeli, or pearl, couscous has pea-sized grains which are larger than its more common Moroccan counterpart. Additionally, instead of being dried like pasta, Israeli couscous is toasted, giving it a wonderful chewy consistency. You can make this salad, with the omission of peas and almonds, up to 24 hours in advance. The large couscous pearls will absorb some of the dressing so be prepared to adjust the seasonings, adding more oil and dressing if necessary, and adding the almonds and peas just before serving.
1 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/8 - 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 Tbsp
1 1/3 cup Israeli couscous
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp fruity-type vinegar*
1-2 Tbsps honey or agave
1 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup fresh or frozen peas, cooked
3 Tbsps minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup sliced almonds, plus 1/4 cup for garnish
1/4 cup diced red onion
1. Bring stock to a boil.
2. In a medium-sized, heavy-bottom pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir in couscous and sauté over medium heat until couscous is lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes.
3. Add hot stock, bring to a boil, stir, then reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 10-12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
4. Whisk together the yogurt, remaining 1/8-1/2 cup olive oil (as needed, or to taste), vinegar, 1 tablespoon honey or agave, curry powder, and turmeric. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and combine. Add the carrots, peas, parsley, cranberries, 3/4 cup almonds, and red onions. Mix well. Adjust seasonings adding additional honey, if desired, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup almonds and serve.
Yield: 6-8 side dishes

*I used champagne vinegar; however, you may also wish to try Orange Muscat vinegar from Trader Joe's.
Dish   SaladMain Ingredient   Rice/Grains
Cooking Time   45 minutes

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