; Supermarket Serenade: Mediterranean Pearls

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mediterranean Pearls

Pasta is a dinner staple in most homes and ours is no exception-but don't you get tired of the same old penne and spaghetti? My favorite find this week is in fact a pasta but not your typical Italian variety...this one originated in of all places Israel.

Favorite Food Find Friday's find is...Mediterranean (a.k.a. Israeli) couscous!
These little pearl shaped grains are similar looking to barley, but they are actually made from a wheat based dough which is shaped into little balls and toasted-as opposed to dried as pastas usually are.

The large grains make an impressive presentation as the base for chicken or seafood or tossed with caramelized onions and blue cheese for a tasty beef side dish. Today I've made a Mediterranean style salad that couldn't be easier...you need "1" of everything in it. You'll notice there's no added oil-I found it just doesn't need it, but if you're planning on chilling it before you serve it you may want to add a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive just so the couscous doesn't clump together. Also I used a fresh mozzarella because one of my favorite supermarkets makes it fresh in the store and it's just fabulous, but you can substitute a feta or goat cheese if you prefer.

"One" Mediterranean Couscous Salad

1 (32 ounce) container chicken stock
1 cup Mediterranean (a.k.a. Israeli) Couscous
1 cup diced roasted red pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped arugula
1 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 lemon, thinly sliced then halved

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in the couscous, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Drain couscous and transfer to a large bowl.
Stir the red pepper, arugula, mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, pine nuts and lemon slices into the bowl with the couscous. Serve warm or chilled.
Yield: 4 servings


Lisa said...

This looks so good. Now I will pick up Israeli couscous next time I'm at Trader Joe's.

Jennifer said...

Lovely and healthy. Always meaning to get some-I love exploring with new grains.

Elyse said...

I love Israeli couscous. I don't eat it nearly enough. And, this Mediterranean salad sounds totally fabulous! Great idea.

Mary said...

I found this a few months ago and my husband absolutely loves it. I can add your recipe to my growing list. Thank you very, very much.

Bridgett said...

We have been enjoying couscous around my house lately and I am loving this recipe. Your photos make it all the more appealing. Gorgeous!

Julie said...

Wow...that's pretty and looks delicious!