Pearl Couscous Salad

In recipe on October 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm

Growing up, we didn’t eat out that often at restaurants. Whenever we actually did go, what I remember most clearly is, whenever our food was done, my mom would pick at it, sniff it, and say with disdain, “I could cook that! And better!” (Looking back, I guess a good response would have been, “Well Mom, why DON’T you cook it?” Still no answer, to this day.)

I guess I’m getting old, for as I cook more, I find myself doing the same thing. I can hardly claim to be able to taste a dish and tell you what special herbs and spices were used, but especially with salads, I get very crotchety and think, “Who do they think they are, charging $9 for spinach, walnuts and apple? I could do that!”
Surprisingly even myself, sometimes I actually do come home and take a gander at the recreation process. Take the case of this salad, upon which I bestow the name Pearl Couscous Salad. It comes from a Trader Joe’s ready-made salad, and originally calls for chicken. As I don’t eat chicken most of the time, it would be really wasteful to buy the salad and toss out the chicken. So I swore to myself I wouldn’t rest until I recreated the dish at home. (By “wouldn’t rest,” I mean take four or five months to remember to do it.)
1 tbl olive oil
1 cup boiling water
1 cup pearl couscous (aka Isreali couscous)
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
~1/2 cup baby tomatoes, cut in half
~3 oz queso fresco, sliced into teeny tiny cubes
1/2 cup currants

Pour olive oil into a pan (that has a lid) on medium heat. When hot, add the pearl couscous, stirring frequently for four or five minutes, until golden brown. Pour one cup boiling water in the pan, and turn off heat. Place the lid on and let rest while you attack the veggies.
Chop the roasted red pepper, green pepper, tomatoes, and queso fresco. Combine with currants in bowl; add pearl couscous once it is cool. Top with Basil Dressing.
It ends up as one fine lookin’ salad. A head turner at any potluck, and delicious to boot. “I could do that,” indeed.
  1. oooh sounds delicious and healthy

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