Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pearl Couscous w/ Roasted Tomatoes, Olives & Arugula



I know it's the middle of the summer and I haven't posted my very favorite, #1 best summer salad yet.

I've been holding out on you.

Well, you can't be mad at me now, because here it is.
It is so good. I promise.

Pearl couscous is also known as Israeli couscous. Don't substitute the smaller Moroccan couscous in this recipe. It just won't work.
If you can't find the pearl couscous, then substitute orzo.
Couscous is a pasta product, not a grain, as some people might think.
I think that is why I love it so much!



Best Summer Salad Recipe:

1 package or box of Israeli pearl couscous, cooked in salted water and drained

1 lb. (or 2 of those net bags) of cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup of torn basil leaves
1/2 cup of kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 cup of whole arugula leaves (or half a bag of prewashed baby arugula)

2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (for roasting the tomatoes)
olive oil
kosher salt

After you have cooked your couscous as per package directions (10 minutes usually does it for mine), drain it and place in a bowl. Do not rinse.

While you are cooking your couscous, start roasting your tomatoes.

To roast cherry tomatoes, line a baking sheet w/ foil and spread out your tomatoes.
Sprinkle liberally w/ kosher salt and drizzle liberally with olive oil.
Pour your 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes and roast in a 425F oven for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are blistering.

Meanwhile, add your chopped olives, and basil leaves to the bowl of warm couscous.

When the tomatoes are done, pour them along with all of their liquids into the bowl w/ the couscous. Toss all ingredients together. Let sit about 5 minutes.



Now add your fresh arugula to the bowl and gently mix.
I like to spread this out on a flat platter to show off all the ingredients.
The juices from the tomatoes along w/ the balsamic vinegar make the dressing. There is no need to add anymore oil or vinegar.

It is best served at room temperature.



I promise not to hold out on you anymore!

17 comments:

Zoe said...

I love Israeli couscous. This is a wonderful side dish or whole meal on its own!

doggybloggy said...

wow I need to get some of this jumbo couscous....

The Japanese Redneck said...

I glad you mentioned substituting orzo. I already have that and love to use what's on hand.

Looks really good. I love olives. I eat alot of them. This looks and sounds just like something I would really enjoy.

Ramona

kat said...

oh my gosh does that ever sound good, well i can't resist anything with olives

StaceyEsq said...

Couscous is a pasta product, not a grain? Well, you certainly learn something new everyday. And you have definitely made me a more educated, adventurous cook. I heart you.

I've been thinking of you and the sad passing of Shasta - it's so meaningful to me because of the recent passing of our 19 year old cat, Shelby. They light up our lives for only a (relatively) short time, but they'll always be our babies.

Dana said...

Some of my favorite flavors are in there. I do so love Israeli couscous and don't use it nearly enough. I bought a huge bag at Costco and it's just sitting in my basement. Time to break it out!

The Food Hunter said...

Funny I picked up some Israeli couscous yesterday but was sure what I was going to make iwth it. Now I know. thanks

A Feast for the Eyes said...

This is so fresh and healthy looking (just like you). Would you believe I've never tried pearl couscous? I keep meaning to do that, so thanks for inspiring me.

Michele said...

This looks so yummy! I never bought that larger type of couscous. I guess you can also you ancini de pepe

Giovanna said...

I love the flavor of roasted tomatoes ! Yum !
I haven't had Israeli couscous in such a long time, you've inspired me to get some again now.
By the way, I love your zucchini saute as well, now that looks gorgeous! Ciao ~

Patsyk said...

I adore roasted tomatoes! I love they way you've used them in this recipe... delicious!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Pearl couscous is my new best friend!

Kerstin said...

I've never had Israeli couscous, although I'm always tempted to buy it in Trader Joe's but didn't quite know what to do with it. Your salad looks delicious!

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Stacey - This Israeli couscous is the same thing as something that people in Sardinia use called "fregola." I had it there once on a boat after a fresh catch of fish. The wife cooked up a pot of fish heads in tomato sauce (tastes better than it sounds) and threw in some fregola.

Colloquial Cook said...

Wow, never tried israeli couscous! It almost looks like pasta. The pictures are scrumptious :-)

fresh365 said...

Pearl couscous is one of my favorites! I love the idea of adding arugula- this looks delicious!

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