Israeli Couscous Salad
A ready pasta salad in the fridge is a good thing for lunches, or for a dinner after a busy day. This one includes shrimp, tomatoes, tons of herbs, and a bright lemony dressing. I love making this with half regular couscous and half whole wheat variety, but you can definitely make it with all of one or the other. You could make this with other grains, too, like farro or freekah or whatever you are currently loving.
This is a great one to make ahead, as I mentioned. You can also mix the salad ingredients ahead and add the dressing just before serving to keep the veggies and herbs looking more fresh.
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove , minced
½ small onion , finely chopped
375 g Israeli couscous (can be half whole wheat variety)
2 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 cup water
1 kg medium shrimp, deveined, tails left on (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 T salt
1 chili, halved
3 Japanese (seedless) cucumbers, diced (about 2 cups)
12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups) (can also use plum tomatoes cut into 8ths)
3 - 4 cups baby spinach or baby kale, finely sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 T lemon zest
3 T lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
Heat oil in a large saucepan or small pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, saute until the onion is translucent and starting to brown.
Add couscous and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Add broth and water, place the lid on and turn the heat down to medium low.
Cook for 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is cooked through but still firm. Use a fork to separate the couscous, then transfer into a large bowl to cool.
Shrimp and Salad:
Combine 1 quart water, 1 T salt, the halved chili, the lemon rinds from the dressing, 2 smashed cloves of garlic in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the shrimp to the pot, cover, and turn off heat. After 1 minute, remove lid, stir, and ensure all shrimp are pink and firm. Drain well in a colander, and rinse with cold water. Add the shrimp to the large bowl with the couscous.
Add all of the salad ingredients into the bowl, mix well.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar and stir or shake well. Pour over the dressing and toss. Serve at room temperature.