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Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Printable Version

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Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - foodfiend - 07-08-2010

Okay, this deserves it's very own thread!

I made it for a family reunion this past Sunday. Since my Dad's side of the family hasn't gotten together in 27 years (old feuds die hard,I guess), I had no idea what to expect. Well, a bit less than a hundred people showed up and it was an absolute blast.

It was a very loosely-organized event (this coming from someone who uses Excel spreadsheets to organize food, decorations, and which serving utensil goes with which serving vessel...) and two huge tables absolutely groaned under the weight of what was brought (next time- 3 tables!). There was also a slightly smaller, although also overflowing, dessert table.

Anyway, beans seemed to be the side dish of the day in various forms (bbq, baked, salads, etc.), and there was also a ton of pasta salads, fruit salads, and veggie salads. But this Israeli Couscous Salad, well, I got compliments right and left (and spent some time writing the recipe on the backs of old envelopes and anything else that we could find). At least 6 people told me that it was their "favorite".

Here is the recipe which Sharon posted:

There really isn't a recipe for the salad. I guess I should figure it out one of these days, but:

1 1/2 cups cook Israeli Couscous, cooled
1 1/2 english cucumber, large dice
grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
5 or 6 scallions, sliced on the diagonal
artichoke hearts, quartered (I used a bit over half a can)
1 cup (or more to taste) feta cheese
Fresh chopped parsley (about 1/2 cup - more to taste)
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

In a small bowl
1/2 to 1 1/2 tsp dill weed
1/1 to 1 tsp Turkish oregano
Juice of 1/2 lemon
additional salt & pepper
red wine vinegar
good extra virgin olive oil

Combine the couscous and vegetables. Mix ingredients for the dressing. The amounts are pretty much to your taste. I like a little more lemon and a little less vinegar - and lots of olive oil.

Combine dressing with salad, add feta, combine well and taste for seasoning. I found, this time, that we really preferred the dill and I increased the amount. Usually I use a lot of oregano - not this time. I can't wait to make this with fresh dill!

Vicci's notes: I used fresh oregano but no dill (not a fan of dill), orange bell pepper instead of green, and added chopped Kalamata olives. Oh, and reduced-fat Feta as well. Absolutely delicious and thanks, Sharon, for mentioning it and posting the recipe!

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Gourmet_Mom - 07-08-2010

Vicci, I'm glad all went well. Are you going to be able to slow down for a while...maybe make it out to the lake for a few day?

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - foodfiend - 07-08-2010

Daphne, there's a lake house trip planned, probably for early next week since I plan to (very, very belatedly) get my garden planted as soon as the heat breaks on Saturday and Sunday. But I have been taking it easy since we live in a house without a/c and the temps have been over 100 for the past 3 days.

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Gourmet_Mom - 07-08-2010

I know what you mean Vicci. I've got two major house projects planned and it's been slow going. I did get a lot done this week, as the temps were upper 80's to low 90's, but it's supposed to hit the 100's again this weekend. BUT we're expecting rain, too. That's a plus. We haven't had any for a few days and my 'maters need the water. There seems to be a storm closing in on us's hoping.

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Harborwitch - 07-08-2010

Vicci I am so glad you all enjoyed it!

One of the best things about it is that it is very adaptable. I've also made it with orzo.

I really feel for you guys out there on the east coast. It's been cool here on the farm (relatively) but they're forcasting big storms for the weekend and then some warming. The mobile isn't air conditioned - but the motorhome is. Guess where we'll be!

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Gourmet_Mom - 07-08-2010

Oh, Sharon, I'm so glad you mentioned the orzo. My one experience with couscous was a flop. William hated it. But I really liked the flavor here, so now I can make it with the orzo...THANKS!

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Harborwitch - 07-08-2010

Did you use the Israeli or the regular couscous??? For some reason Bob and I don't really like the regular - but adore the Israeli.

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - foodfiend - 07-08-2010

I second Sharon's comment. Although I like the regular couscous, Jack much prefers the Israeli-- it's larger, not as "mushy" when cooked, and the brand that I buy (although they all may be this way) is toasted so it keeps its shape nicely.

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Harborwitch - 07-08-2010

I don't remember the brand - but I think it's toasted too. I had to order from Amazon - no one here has even heard of it.

Re: Sharon's Israeli Couscous Salad - Gourmet_Mom - 07-08-2010

Oh, so maybe I'll give Israeli Couscous a try. Thanks for the discussion. It was the "small mushy" product with the odd mouth feel that put him off, I'm thinking.