Green Couscous

green couscous - trust in kim

This scrumptious recipe comes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty – love this book!  I used the larger Israeli couscous, which is also called pearl couscous, but you can feel free to use the smaller version.  I really liked the texture of the larger couscous, which has a bite more similar to a small pasta. The recipe involves cooking the couscous, then coating it with a lovely green herb paste, then topping it with pistachios, green onions, fried onions, arugula or spinach, and a little green chile.

I enjoyed this salad alongside roasted cauliflower and squash with tahini sauce. I absolutely love this meal, and my leftovers at work were the envy of many. This would also make a great picnic salad, instead of a pasta salad.

What you need:

 

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous (or regular – just cook it according to the package directions)
  • just over 1 cup boiling water/ chicken broth/ vegetable broth
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (I like to use a sweet onion)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh green chile, finely sliced
  • 1 & 1/4 cups arugula or baby spinach

What you need for the herb paste:

  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

  1. Cook the couscous according to the package instructions.  I used homemade chicken broth to give it a little more flavour, but you can use water or veggie broth if you have it.
  2. Fry the onions in the olive oil over medium heat until they are golden and soft.  Mix in the salt and cumin, then set aside to cool
  3. Blend all the herb paste ingredients together.  You can use a food processor, but I used an immersion blender because that’s what I have in my tiny kitchen, and it worked well.  Add a bit more olive oil if you need; I left out 2 tablespoons of oil that the recipe called for.
  4. Mix the herb paste into the cooked and slightly cooled couscous, then mix in the pistachios, green onions, green chile and arugula or spinach.  I added the spinach to individual portions because I knew I would have leftovers, and I thought it would wilt over night if I mixed it in.
  5. Serve at room temperature.

Balsamic Watermelon Appetizer

This is so easy and so refreshing.  You can buy reduced balsamic, or use the following recipe.

You need:

watermelon

pistachios

reduced balsamic

3 tablespoons brown sugar (if you make your own balsamic)

What you do:

1.  If you are reducing your own balsamic, boil 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar on low until it is reduced by about half.  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

2. Toast the pistachios in a dry frying pan on medium low, being careful not to burn them.  When cooled, chop pistachios.

3.  Cut watermelon into cubes.

4.  Drizzle a little of the cooled reduced balsamic on each piece of watermelon, then top with chopped pistachios.

Enjoy!