Pearl Couscous is not the traditional couscous associated with North African cuisine. North African Couscous is a Berber preparation that consists of very small granules of semolina wheat which are coated in wheat flour. Pearl Couscous, also known as Israeli Couscous, is made of baked wheat rather than semolina, and is similar to pasta. Its granules are much larger in size and maintain their individual texture and firmness without sticking, which makes pearl couscous a great candidate for salads and a substitute for orzo or rice. Pearl couscous can be toasted before simmering in liquid, which will impart a lovely golden hue and a toasted flavor that will hold up against spices and herbs, which is why I love to use it frequently. In this recipe, the grains are toasted and tumbled together with fresh leaves of coriander, parsley and mint and a mixture of sweet and spicy peppers. The result is a satisfying salad, with elements of tabboule and salsa, that can stand alone or accompany grilled meat, fish or chicken. If you prefer a vegetarian option, substitute the chicken stock with water and crumble feta cheese over the salad before serving. —TasteFood
1 1/2 cups
Pearl couscous (Israeli couscous)
2 1/4 cups
freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
cayenne, or to taste
green onions, ends trimmed, white and green parts thinly sliced.
red bell pepper, seeded, diced
poblano pepper, seeded, diced
small serrano pepper, seeded, ribs removed, minced
garlic clove, minced
halved cherry tomatoes (quartered if large)
chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
chopped fresh mint
chopped fresh cilantro
finely grated lemon zest
In This Recipe
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add couscous and cook, stirring, until grains are golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Add chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender but firm, 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer couscous to a large bowl, fluffing with a fork. Stir in one tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne. Set aside to cool slightly.
Once couscous has cooled, add remaining ingredients. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Note: If your are preparing salad in advance, do not add the parsley, mint or cilantro. Add before serving to prevent wilting.