This afternoon, I took advantage of a volunteering opportunity through my employer. I love volunteering! A group of about 20 of us ventured over to the Riverfront Recapture in Hartford, CT. We ate lunch, listened to the volunteer coordinator tell us the history of the Riverfront dating all the way back to the Native Americans, and then cleaned up the area by removing litter, Raking, pulling up stumps, weeding, and shoveling dirt to prepare for mulch and planting tomorrow.
Why am I telling you this? Because I’m exhausted! I did not have the energy to come home, stand in the kitchen and cook for an hour. I wanted something simple and quick. I knew my Mediterranean Style Couscous Salad would do the trick.
For those of you who have not tried Israeli couscous yet, you are missing out! It’s super easy to prepare, healthy and you can make so many different recipes with it. Israeli couscous is bigger than regular couscous that most people are used to and it is also referred to as pearl couscous. My favorite brand is Roland. I like it because it comes in a plastic tub so you can use some and save the rest for later. I like toasting it for a few minutes to bring out a slightly different flavor. Of course, if you don’t want to spring for the Israeli couscous or you can’t find it in your local store, you can always grab some from Amazon or you can use regular couscous.
Mediterranean Style Couscous Salad
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup Israeli couscous
1-1/2 cup hot water or broth
1 cucumber, sliced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into chunks (use your favorite – yellow, red, green, orange, etc)
Handful of Kalamata olives, halved
Handful of parsley, chopped
1-2 tsp smoked paprika or regular paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous and stir. Toast, while stirring occasionally, until couscous is just slightly darker.
2. Add water, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Cook on low for 8 minutes.
3. Add paprika and stir. Cook on low for an additional 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
4. Chop any remaining ingredients that you didn’t finish while the couscous was cooking.
5. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve.
This meal is filling and healthy. It is also wonderful to bring for potlucks or make for parties because it can be served immediately at room temperature or it can be refrigerated and served cold later. This particular recipe was enough for me, my husband and my toddler. Markus and I enjoyed a nice off-dry white wine that was a blend of Cayuga and Vidal Blanc called Skipping Stone White.
I would love to hear your variations.
I will post again soon. Until then, stay hungry and enjoy your wine!