“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”
The Perfect Crowd Pleaser – Israeli CousCous Salad
I choose which yoga practice I will do each day based on any number of factors; time, energy levels, perception of personal strength, open-mindedness, and often how many people are in the house, which translates to how many times I am likely to be interrupted.
I like to approach many of the dishes I prepare with the same flexibility. Obviously, not all recipes allow for such adaptation, but this one could be considered the king of all flexible recipes. In fact, as I write this I’m imagining ways to make a sweet version… I’ll tackle that one in another post!
I saw this Israeli couscous dish prepared once on a cooking show. And when I say SAW what I really mean is, I heard it being prepared and discussed. That’s how I generally get information from TV. I’m often in another room, usually the kitchen while one of the other family members watches TV. If it’s a weekend day, it’s likely a cooking show and it’s almost certainly my husband watching.
This recipe was so simple and flexible that I didn’t need to ask that it be paused or rewound to come in to watch it properly. Basically choose the freshest seasonal veg, decide which flavour profile you are looking for and base your cheese on that, a handful of fresh herbs to compliment and you have what is certain to become not only a staple in your repertoire but also a recipe that is requested with more regularity than you could ever imagine. It’s also so easily adapted in amounts that it makes a great side dish for a large crowd. If you are having a hard time finding Israeli couscous (also sometimes called pearl couscous), or just want to make it right this minute and don’t happen to have any on hand, you could substitute the couscous with orzo.
Enjoy & Namaste!
- 2 cups Israeli couscous
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 red pepper, seeded and cubed
- 1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped (peeled only if nec)
- 1 bunch asparagus, blanched and chopped
- ½ red onion, sliced and marinated in wine vinegar if desired
- 1 cup black olives
- ½ cup pine nuts, toasted is a nice option but not nec)
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- fresh basil and mint, torn
- fresh oregano
- Feta or goat's cheese, or both! Amount will depend on what else is being served, or as my Sittoo used to say "...until it's right."
- 5 TBSP olive oil
- 2 TBSP red wine vinegar
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- lemon juice to finish and brighten
- S&P to taste
- red pepper flakes to taste, optional (but highly recommended!)
- Cook couscous in chicken broth until al dente. Drain
- Combine all veg and herbs in a bowl
- Toss with dressing
- Add couscous
- Add cheese and finish with lemon juice as needed
- Serve at room temp