Israeli couscous, is also known as pearl couscous and is similar to regular couscous in that it is a small, whole grain-like food made from semolina or wheat flour. The Israeli couscous “pearls” are larger than regular couscous, a little chewy and have a slightly nutty flavour. It does however make a wonderful foundation for adding other complex flavours which I have played with in this recipe and the result was just yummy. The dressing includes some avocado to provide the essential fat.
Israeli couscous with figs, olives and tomatoes makes a wonderful party dish and will serve plenty of friends for a pot luck if you double the recipe.
200g Israeli couscous
1/2 liter water
1 vegetable stock cube
1 bay leaf
100g dried figs, chopped into small chunks
100g baby tomatoes, quartered
50g pitted black olives, halved
3 tablespoons walnuts, chopped and toasted
Good handful fresh coriander, washed and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small shallots
4 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
What to do
1. Place the Israeli couscous pearls in a medium sized saucepan and toast for a few minutes over a medium to high heat. Keep the Israeli couscous moving around in the pan with a spoon.
2. Crumble the stock cube into the pan and continue to stir for another minute. Add the water and the bay leaf, bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently, for about 10 minutes until the Israeli couscous is slightly chewy and the water is absorbed. Allow to cool.
3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts and set aside. Prepare the figs, tomatoes, olives and walnuts.
4. Toss the Israeli couscous into a bowl and gently mix in all the other ingredients. Pour over the dressing and gently blend everything together. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Place all the ingredients for the dressing in the goblet of a small blender and whizz until very smooth and creamy.