Unlike the finely grained North African Couscous made of semolina, Israeli Couscous has larger granules, resembling tiny pearls, which are made of baked wheat. The result is a pasta-like product, which remains firm when cooked and has a delicious toasted wheat flavor, similar to the Sardinian pasta, fregola sarda.
Israeli Couscous is made by repeating the Couscous-making process—gradually adding water to semolina and rolling it with the palms of the hands to form small bead-like granules over and over again so that these beads amass moisture and flour. Israeli Couscous also has a low glycemic index, making it a healthy and high-fibre food.
Perfect served cold and tossed with fresh herbs and a bright vinaigrette, or hot – warmed and served with some good quality cheese and roasted vegetables – there are countless ways to enjoy Israeli Couscous.
Durum wheat semolina, salt, water.
To prepare Israeli or Pearl Couscous, you'll need about 1 1/4 cups of water or vegetable broth for every 1 cup of dry grain. Simmer the grains on the stovetop, covered, for about 10 minutes. The grains fluff up just slightly, and, like barley, they have more of an "al dente" mouth feel when done cooking.
- In Israel, pearled Couscous is typically served very simply – often with little more than a bit of tomato sauce or some fried onions.
- You can make a variation of the simple recipe that honours that simplicity but amps up the flavour with sautéed shallots standing in for the onions, thyme, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
- You can warm up leftover Couscous with milk and enjoy it instead of oatmeal for breakfast.
- Another breakfast idea is frying the couscous in olive oil, maybe with some chopped onions. Beat two eggs, pour them over the Couscous, and fry until done.
- Because the flavour of Couscous is neutral, and it absorbs sauces so well, it makes a great bed for almost any stew or entrée with sauce.
- It is a great stuffing for roasted vegetables.
- Roasted Cherry Tomato and Basil Couscous Salad - A drizzle of olive oil and a quick roast in the oven brings a rich and full flavour to the tomatoes in this simple, fresh salad recipe.
- For an uber-foodie twist, add pistachios, golden raisins, and chopped dates to Israeli Couscous in this crunchy-sweet-fresh dish.
Westpoint Naturals (Vancouver)