Recipe: israeli couscous salad
I’m quite present when it comes to the weather. I spend a fair bit of time outside and what goes on overhead has bearing on much of what I do on a daily basis. Right now, I’m in the San Juan Mountains shooting the fall colors (I think this is the most stunning part of the state in autumn – just unbelievable), trying to stay out of the way of this Pacific winter storm that’s barreling through the region, and watching the radar loop. They are predicting up to a foot of snow in the mountains by Friday morning.
snapshot from the road outside of crested butte – rainstorm approaching
such an abundance of colors this year
shades of rust in the brush
The hills are crawling with photogs, enthusiasts, and (leaf) peepers alike – a generally friendly bunch. I was chatting with a delightful couple from Louisiana who have been hitting the Colorado fall colors now for 20 years. We were wondering when that winter storm would arrive when she exclaimed, “And can you believe it was in the 80s last week?!” That jolted me out of my “fall-borderline-winter-why-didn’t-I-bring-my-skis?” mode. Oh yeah, summer…
hard to remember summer with snow in the side-view mirror
this is a dusting, the storm hadn’t even arrived yet
I missed the very last Wednesday Boulder Farmers’ Market of the season because I’m on the road this week. That makes me sad. It means the corn, the tomatoes, the peaches, the greens, are going away. By November, our Saturday market will be done. This summer, I often threw together a quick couscous salad to use up any tomatoes and corn so I could go to the market and load up on even more. Now there is couscous and then there is Israeli couscous. I’ve had Israeli couscous in restaurants before and I love the texture. I finally bought some from the Whole Foods bulk section early in the summer.
israeli couscous before cooking
gather some corn, tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and parsley
I didn’t know how to prepare it, but I figured that having purchased a bag would force me to figure out how to cook it. It is ridiculously easy to cook. It’s basically pasta, so you boil it in water. I love the pearly bites, the way it mixes well with other ingredients, and that it is totally scoopable. You can add any combination of ingredients to the couscous. Since it was summer, I chose what was abundant in the markets.
trim the corn kernels off the cob (carefully)
quick sauté of the corn
diced tomato and cucumber
Quick and simple is always welcome as long as it’s good. I have a fear of messing up great summer produce by overworking it – doing too much to it. Just let them do their job. It’s less work for you and in the end, everyone wins.
place it in a bowl and drizzle some olive oil
toss with minced parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon juice
add more lemon juice to taste
I’m sure I could get my hands on the last dribbles of the harvest to make this again, but I’m also a little excited to autumnize and winterize it. But for those of you hankering to hold on to summer just a little longer or those of you not expecting a foot of snow this week, this should do you right.
enjoy your bowl of summer
Israeli Couscous Salad
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 cob of corn
1 medium English or 3 Persian cucumbers
2 medium tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup feta
1 lemon, juice of
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan (you can salt the water, but I forgot to!). Pour the couscous into the boiling water and cook until the pasta is tender. It took mine about 7 minutes. Drain the couscous and rinse in cold water, then place in a large mixing bowl. Slice the kernels off the corn cob (be really really really careful, please) and sauté the kernels in a little vegetable oil over high heat for a minute or two. Add the corn to the couscous. Dice the cucumbers and tomatoes (medium dice – 1/2-inch sides). Add the tomatoes, cucumber, and feta to the couscous. Drizzle some olive oil over the salad. Add some lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Adjust to your liking. Serves 6-8 as a side salad.