Pearls of Wisdom

Another Africa hot day in lovely South Florida and I was craving a cold dinner. I’m sure Confucious said somewhere “When day hot, eat cold couscous.” Or something like that.

I found this recipe on a message board I frequent, but didn’t actually write it down, so its probably completely different than the original recipe. Whatever… its good, with a surprising mix of flavors and textures. I use only pearl couscous, as I prefer it to the regular tiny grained couscous, which always seems mushy to me. My grocery store usually has a dusty box or two of it on the top shelf near the rice and pastas. If you can’t find it in a regular grocery store, Whole Foods always carries it. We ate the couscous as a main dish, with delicious sunflower seed bread from The German Breadhaus, which has… hands down… the best German bread in South Florida.

Pearl Couscous Recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
1 c pearl couscous
2 1/4 c water
1/2 tsp salt

1 medium tomato, seeded and diced small
1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced small
1 yellow pepper, diced small
1/4 c red onion, diced
several sprigs of parsley, chopped fine
several springs of mint, chopped fine
1/2 c golden (or regular) raisins
1/2 c dried cherries, chopped (can also use cranberries)
1/4 c toasted almonds, chopped
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat oil over medium high heat and add couscous. Stir around for 4-5 minutes until lightly toasted. Add the water and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often until al dente. Pour into a large bowl and allow to cool, stirring occasionally to distribute heat . If you’re in a hurry, spread the cooked couscous in a cookie sheet or baking pan to cool faster.

2. Combine the remainder of the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Once the couscous is cooled, combine all ingredients and adjust seasonings (salt and pepper). You also may need more vinegar or lemon juice, it really depends on your personal preference. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to let the flavors mesh.

Makes 4 Servings