Israeli Couscous with Lemon, Mint, Peas, Feta, and Pickled Shallots
Make pasta salad using Israeli couscous, we first toast the spheres in oil to bring out their nuttiness. We then cook the couscous in a measured amount of water that is soaked up during cooking. This absorption method produces more evenly cooked results than boiling the couscous. To turn the couscous into a salad, we dress it with a bold vinaigrette of equal parts acid and oil. Finally, we mix in plenty of fresh vegetables, cheese, nuts, and herbs.
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 recipe Simple Israeli Couscous, cooled
- 4 ounces baby arugula, roughly chopped, about 4 cups
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped
- 3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, about 3/4 cup
Preparation time 20mins
Cooking time 50mins
Adapted from americastestkitchen.com
For efficiency, let the shallots pickle while you prepare the remaining ingredients. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt to a simmer over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add shallots, stir, cover and remove from heat. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Drain and roughly chop shallots. Set aside.
Using a medium saucepan, heat couscous and oil over medium heat for about 6 minutes or until half the grains are golden brown.
Add water and salt, stir. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Turn off heat and let stand, still covered for 3 minutes. Next, grab a baking sheet. Spread the couscous in a single layer and cool. Set aside.
Whisk together the oil, lemon juice, mustard, red pepper flakes, and salt in a large bowl. Add couscous and toss in dressing. Then add arugula, mint, peas, 1/2 cup feta and shallots. Toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a pretty bowl. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of feta. Add a squeeze of lemon juice over the salad if desired.
Serve chilled or at room temperature. This salad is best the day it is made, but does make nice leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. Enjoy!
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