Monday, October 19, 2009

Israeli couscous pasta salad

I just discovered Israeli couscous. I always thought couscous was couscous. The Israeli type is slightly larger, with a delicious toasted flavor.Sometimes its called pearl couscous or maftoul. Its a small round semolina pasta, similar to orzo, yet with a nutty flavor. Whole Foods seems to always have it in stock, however today I found it in the international aisle of my hoo hum grocery store. The brand I used was called Osem, it came in a nice plastic container that I'm sure Ill find another use for.I doubled this recipe to feed a crowd this weekend, everyone loved it. The addition of dried cranberries and toasted pecans make this just perfect for a fall gathering. If after searching you can only find the regular couscous, it works fine as well. However the Israeli couscous is definitely worth the search.

  • 2 cups of Israeli couscous
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of toasted chopped pecans
  • 4 scallions minced


  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • zest from 1 orange
  • juice from 1 zest ed orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add 2 cups of couscous to 2 1/2 cups of boiling broth. Cover pot and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat, let couscous rest on stove top. Chop and toast pecans (my 1st batch burnt to charcoal black..keep and eye on them). Mince scallions and put aside.For dressing add vinegar in to a medium sized bowl, slowly whisk in canola oil. Add orange zest and orange juice. Add turmeric,thyme and tarragon, season with salt and pepper.

Place couscous and large bowl, break up clumps with your hands. Add toasted pecans , dried cranberries and scallions. Pour dressing over couscous, mix everything together. Let me know what you think of the Israeli couscous.


  1. oh my gosh couscous is wonderful! This sounds and looks just unbelievably delicious. I love these types of salads. Thank you for sharing it.

  2. This a great way to eat light, while still enjoying fall flavors.I especially like the citrus with cranberry!

  3. oh this looks great I need to keep my eyes open for it I am like you stuck on with regular cous cous

  4. Looks like a delicious salad with Israeli couscous and pecans!

  5. I'll look for Israeli couscous, your description of it sounds delicious! Sounds like the toasted flavor of the couscous paired perfectly with the nuts!

  6. I shall look for this - it sounds wonderful. I love the dressing and ready to pick the last of my herbs for this dish.

  7. MMMMMMMMMMM,...This dish looks fab!! very colourful too,...

  8. I made your salad today, I absolutely love it! next time will add more veggies since it seems to be very versatile. Thanks a lot for the recipe.

  9. In Lebanon there is a couscous tradition as well that goes back hundreds of years. The couscous is made with semolina or wheat and the grains are bigger than Morroccan couscous. It is called moghrabiyeh.

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