Sunday, November 21, 2010

Couscous - Pomegranate and much more salad

I prepare couscous salad pretty often, with small variations every time. Now, it is time to incorporate the wonderful fall fruit, pomegranate.

Couscous is quite a newcomer to my kitchen. About a year ago, I saw Sandra Lee from the Food Network, using it.  I searched online and found that couscous is a type of Middle Eastern pasta made from semolina flour. Traditionally, it is cooked by steaming for a long time. Today, the varieties sold in the grocery stores are pre-steamed for convenience and are ready in 10 minutes. Even though, it is a pasta, it neither looks nor tastes like one, but more like cracked wheat. It is very versatile and is an interesting alternative to regular pasta. I have always been using Trader Joe's whole wheat couscous in my preparations.

This is an adaptation from couscous salad recipe posted in

Dry Couscous - 1 cup
Black beans - 1 16 oz can, drained
Pomegranate - 1 cup
Red bell pepper - 1 medium, diced
Lemon -1 zested and juiced
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Chopped flat leaf parsley - 1/4 cup
Chopped mint - 1/4 cup
chilly flakes to taste (optional) 
Salt and pepper to taste
Water - 3/4 cup

Prepare couscous as per directions in the box. Combine water, lemon zest, 1 tbsp olive oil (I sometimes use chili oil) and chili flakes (yes!!! we love the heat) and bring to a boil. Simmer, pour over couscous, season with salt and pepper to taste, mix well, cover with a plastic wrap and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine black beans, pomegranates, red bell pepper, lemon juice, remaining olive oil, parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste and let it stand for 30 minutes. Combine with couscous preparation and cool in the refrigerator before serving.

This was our salad during the POM dinner party I recently hosted. Check out the recap here.

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