* Exported from MasterCook *
ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD WITH ARUGULA PESTO
Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
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6 cups packed arugula (6 ounces)
2 cups Israeli couscous (12 ounces)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup full fat yoghurt (or low fat if you prefer)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 garlic clove — chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup red cherry tomatoes — halved
1 English cucumber — peeled and diced
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the 6 cups of arugula and blanch for 10 seconds. With a slotted spoon, transfer the arugula to a colander. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, drain well and reserve.
Add the couscous to the boiling water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste to make sure you don’t overcook it. Drain, and spread on a large baking sheet, drizzling with a very small amount of olive oil (use a spray bottle if you have it) to prevent the little balls from sticking. Let it cool to room temperature.
In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
Squeeze the excess water from the arugula, coarsely chop it, and place it in the bowl of a food processor. Transfer the arugula to a food processor. Add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and the 2 Tbs of olive oil, processing until the arugula and pine nuts are chopped. Immediately add the yogurt, process until smooth, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir in some of the pesto, using as much or as little as you like. Gently fold in the tomatoes and cucumber pieces.
Original recipe on Food and Wine
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Finally, got all the ingredients together and made this last night to go with grilled chicken breasts. I was attracted to the spin my friend Sally put on the recipe cutting the oil and adding yogurt. I first discussed this recipe w/link to Sally’s amazing blog here. It makes for a very interesting pesto. Because I’m so into using up bits and pieces from the fridge and pantry there was some tweaking going on in my kitchen! I know, there’s no surprise in that!
To the salad I added some chopped Carrot for more crunch, Radish for garnish and even more crunch. I had some small heirloom cherry, grape and cocktail sized tomatoes, seeded and chopped and added to the mix using regular grape tomatoes for garnish again.
To the pesto I tossed in some rescued mint leaves maybe 5, gave it a nice subtle minty flavor.
I held off on the salt as I felt the Parmesan I had might be too salty tasting. But ended up adding sea salt at the table and a squeeze of lemon, for an acidic note to counter the sharpness of my pungent garlic!
All in all it was a hit, looking forward to the leftovers for lunch!
As they said to Mikey: Try it, you’ll like it!
Eat Well…Be Well!