Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recipe: Israeli Couscous Salad Caprese

Have you tried Israeli couscous yet? I am simply obsessed with this little bitty pasta. Not everyone is using it, which makes it a fun take-along for potlucks and all of those great end-of-season get-togethers you'll have for your kid's sports.

Israeli couscous is a pumped up version of it's tiny cousin couscous and takes just 10 minutes to cook. It's extremely versatile and is open to almost any adaptation from pasta salads currently in your repertoire. You'll find this in the Middle Eastern section of Wegman's or at The Common Market.   You can make this as a vegetarian option or pump up the protein by adding some grilled chicken to the mix.

Israeli Couscous Salad Caprese

Serves 4
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes, diced into small pieces (get 'em at Wegman's at the olive bar)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: 1 cup cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
Place the water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, add Israeli couscous, cover, and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then place in a colander and rinse with cold water. Allow couscous to drain for 5 minutes.

Place couscous into a large bowl and add mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, fresh basil, and chicken (if using) stirring well to combine.

Prepare dressing by placing red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Slowly pour extra virgin olive oil into the vinegar mixture while whisking. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

Serving note: If not serving immediately, reserve half of the dressing and add just before serving.

Now, doesn't that sound yummy? And easy? It's perfect for the hot weather we're having and terrific leftover too. Enjoy!!


Luke said...

okay. So, I also really like the couscous. I had some recently with a roasted garlic and basil. I loved it. It has a very strong garlic taste, which I absolutely love). I also had the idea of adding in a bunch of grilled chicken. I thought it was great. Enjoy.

Luke said...

okay, another favorite, roasted garlic and olive oil. Like it even better than the basil. MUCH better. So, if you will change my statement to include the olive oil instead, I would appreciate it. Still, add the chicken in. YUMMMMMMMMM.