Friday, 27 April 2012

Pearl Couscous and Red Pepper Salad

When I am busy gardening or outside playing all day this is the kind of thing I love for a quick dinner.  Pearl Couscous or Israeli Couscous is a round pasta that you would cook just like any other pasta. I like to cook it Al Dente which means there is still a bit of tooth to it. I have also shredded some red pepper and added  fresh mozzarella cubes (more like rectangles!) and it is served on some soft Bibb lettuce.

You will Need:

  • 1 cup pearl couscous 
  • 1 clove garlic- crushed/chopped fine
  • 1/2 red pepper -grated on a box grater
  • 1 tbsp fresh red chili chopped finely (any kind you like mine is medium heat)
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 lime - juiced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella or bocconcini -chopped in cubes
  • 1 tbsp cilantro/parsley- finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  •  Bibb lettuce (or any other soft leaf lettuce)

Step 1: in a large saucepan add 3 cups water (you can also use chicken or vegetable broth) Boil water and add enough salt to make the water taste like the sea. Add couscous and boil for 10 -12 minutes until cooked. It should still have a bit of chew to the centre when cooked. I find Israeli couscous in my health food store but, you can find it in better grocery stores. (we ain't there just yet in my area!)

Step 2: once cooked strain and let cool slightly in a medium sized bowl. Add a few tbsp of olive oil to coat and separate the pasta.

Step 3: add all your ingredients. I like to grate the sweet red pepper on a box grater and if I do it flat I can  grate the soft inside flesh and throw away the skin. Chop chili pepper, garlic and cilantro/parsley finely. Juice lime and add more oil if too dry. Chop fresh mozzarella and add salt and pepper. Taste it. If you need to add more lime, add it. (some limes are more dry than others. Just like people!)

Serve on top of some Bibb lettuce and you have a great dinner. 

This little unassuming pasta salad is surprisingly filling and satisfying.

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