Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Heart Pearl Couscous

Would you believe that I tried pearl (or Israeli) couscous for the first time this year? Yep, true story. I've long known about these fat little pasta balls, but for some reason, I just never cook with couscous. I'm not sure why. I've long loved couscous, and when I first learned about the bigger pearl version after going vegan, I remember thinking that I'd like that.

But it wasn't until last month, when I was visiting Nashville and had the Israeli Couscous Salad at the Wild Cow Vegetarian Restaurant that I finally tried it! And guess what? My instincts were right. Loved it! The little balls are more chewy than the fine-ground traditional couscous. I needed more! Lucky for me, Pereg Gourmet Natural Foods included a package of their dried Pearl Couscous in a box of sample items they shipped for me to try.

I could have come up with my own recipe, but since it was my second time ever eating it, I figured I'd stick to the pros. I remembered seeing an Israeli couscous recipe in the Veganomicon long ago, probably around the time I first got the book. We're talking 2007 here, people! In fact, reading that recipe title in the Veganomicon may have been the first time I'd ever heard of Israeli couscous.

Anyway, I found that recipe again, and I whipped it up with the Pereg Pearl Couscous. Here's my Israeli Couscous with Apricots and Pistachios.

It may just look like grains with some mint and nuts. But don't let the natural couscous color of the dish fool you. This recipe is loaded with spices — cinnamon stick, cumin, cardamom — that complement the sweet, chopped apricots and salty, nutty pistachios. And it's all topped with fresh organic mint. Ah, such simplicity can be so delicious.

As for the Pereg Pearl Couscous, it was perfectly chewy and soft at the same time. And it cooked up quickly, which was a nice change from slow-cooking brown rice.


Barb@ThatWasVegan? said...

When I first saw the title, I read it as "I hate pearl couscous" and I was like What the eff is wrong with her!? ;) -1 for my reading comprehension. I love this stuff, will have to check out this brand, I'd never heard of them!

John McDevitt said...

Love that stuff!

Susan said...

Pearl couscous is fun, though not something I make a lot. I am not sure why, because I like the texture of those little balls.

BTW, I see you are speaking at VVC. :D I will be attending this year for the first time ever, so I hope I get to say hi. :)

Susan said...

Or rather next year.

Bianca said...

Yay Susan!!! I can't wait to meet you!!!

Marjorie said...

Pearl Couscous is DA BOMB! I love this stuff far too much. I love making it with sundried tomatoes, olives, and cucumbers. I also love it with basil pesto and nutritional yeast. Such a great food!