Veggie and Pearl Couscous Herb Salad

Today is a Secret Recipe Club reveal!

Welcome to May’s SRC  and Group C’s posting day.

Secret Recipe Club

My assignment this month was…wait for it…Manu’s Menu.

I have perused her blog before and was glad to get the assignment of stalking out a new dish from Manuela’s incredible stash of recipes.      Manuela was born and raised in Milan but has lived in Sydney for the past seven years with her “loving husband Clint…and 2 wonderful daughters: Victoria and Georgia.”   I love those names.

One of Manuela’s goals is to “spread the concepts of authentic homemade Italian cuisine in the world.”   She has these authentic recipes as well as much other delicious fare at Manu’s Menu.

(And, you simply must check out her creative cake pops and fondant designs.)

If I had gotten this assignment during the fall or winter, I would have loved to try out some of Manuela’s authentic Italian recipes, but I am all about salads now.       She posted a keeper just last month:   Couscous and Herb Salad.

 

Veggie and Couscous Herb Salad
Based on Manu’s Menu Couscous and Herb Salad

8 oz. (about 1 3/4 c.) whole wheat pearl couscous (Israeli couscous), cooked per package directions and cooled
2 T.  basil leaves, chopped
1 T. dill, chopped
1 T. parsley leaves, chopped
1 T. chives, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 green onions, sliced thin
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. white wine vinegar
1 T.  local honey
3 T.  extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t.  fresh ground pepper
1/4 t. sea salt

Prepare the couscous following the package instructions.   Drain and set aside to cool.

To prepare the vinaigrette, put the honey, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar and salt in a small jar.   Shake until well combined.   (I put it in a half pint  jar on the blender and emulsified the whole thing.)

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Can you see the runaway couscous on the counter? This stuff went everywhere as I was measuring it!

Mix the veggies, herbs, and dressing.   Toss to coat with vinaigrette.IMAG3699

Serve cold or at room temperature as a side or a main dish.

I used a whole wheat pearl couscous.  (Manuela used a traditional couscous in her original recipe.)  Pearl couscous is also called Israeli couscous, Jerasalem couscous and Ptitim.    According to the definitive authority, Wikipedia :), the history of this pasta follows:

“Ptitim” were invented during the austerity period in Israel, when rice was scarce, to provide for the needs of the Mizrahi immigrants, for whom rice was a dietary staple.[1] Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, asked Eugen Proper, one of the founders of the Osem food company, to quickly devise a wheat-based substitute to rice.[1] Consequently, it was nicknamed “Ben-Gurion’s rice” by the people.[1] The company took up the challenge and developed ptitim, which is made of hard wheat flour and roasted in an oven.[1] The product was instantly a success, after which ptitim made in the shape of small, dense balls (which the company termed “couscous“) was added to the original rice-shaped ptitim.

As this was cooking,  a wheatie-earthy- smell wafted through the house.   I could imagine this couscous served warm with dried fruit, nuts, and yogurt.    (That is breakfast tomorrow!)

This would be a great salad for fresh summer veggies.   I am still waiting on tomatoes and cukes, but I did have a few spring onions and lots of herbs to choose from my own garden.

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Spring onions from the garden.

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Garlic chives, lettuce leaf basil, dill and Italian parsley.

Absolutely any herbs would work for this dish.   Mix and match!

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For a side or a meal.

I am now a fan of couscous, this salad, AND Manu’s Menu.

 

Manu's Menu

Thanks to our SRC hosts JaneSarah, Suzanne, and the fabulous Group C host, Debbi.  They do a super fantastic job keeping us all organized, informed, and on track!   Thank you, ladies!  (For all my past SRC posts, click here. )

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This is from a beautiful geranium that I have kept in the green house for three winters with some scented geranium leaves for filler.

And, please, please, please, remember Abigail today in your thoughts.



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Eat, Pray, Love
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My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
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Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
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