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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Israeli Couscous Salad

I've mentioned this before, but in case you missed it: couscous is not a grain, it's tiny pasta.  That means that unless you buy some that is 100% whole grain, you are just getting refined flour, white pasta. 
It is not difficult to find whole wheat and spelt varieties these days.  For this, I used Shibolim organic spelt couscous.  Israeli couscous is much larger than regular couscous, but you can use regular couscous in a pinch.
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This makes a great vegetarian side dish or main course for lunch or dinner.

Salad

1/2 lb whole grain Israeli couscous, cooked according to instructions on package and cooled
2.5 cups cooked chickpeas
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup of my lemon and cumin-scented yogurt dressing (recipe below)
1/2 tsp sumac (optional)
2 tsp zataar seasoning (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.  Stir in dressing and serve on it's own or over baby spinach or arugula.

Lemon and Cumin-Scented Yogurt Dressing

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest of a lemon
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp dijon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbls white wine vinegar
1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt

In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice and zest, dijon, cumin, salt, and vinegar until fully emulsified. Whisk in yogurt.

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