Israeli Couscous Salad

5 Pounds of Israeli Couscous?  Really?

I just bought a 5 pound bag is Israeli couscous!  Ptitim is Hebrew for Israeli toasted pasta shaped like rice or little balls. Outside of Israel it is known as Israeli couscous or Jerusalem couscous.

While considered a children’s food in Israel, elsewhere in the world Israeli couscous is treated as an ingredient for “trendy delicacies”. Israeli couscous can be used in many different types of dishes, both hot and cold. They retain their shape and texture even when reheated, and unlike traditional North African couscous, they don’t clump together as much.

Israeli Couscous Salad

Serves 8

4  green onions, trimmed
2 Tbs olive oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced
2½ cups chicken broth
½ tsp saffron threads
½ tsp salt
1¾ cup Israeli couscous
Apple-Cider Vinaigrette, (see step 5 below)
1 cup arugula leaves
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

With sharp knife, thinly slice green onions crosswise, keeping green and white parts separate.

In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add white part of green onions, the celery, and carrots; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Add chicken broth, saffron, and salt. Heat to boiling over high heat. Stir in couscous. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, stir once, and set aside to cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Apple-Cider Vinaigrette.

To serve, in large bowl, combine couscous mixture, arugula, parsley, and reserved green-onion slices. Divide salad among serving plates and drizzle each with some Apple-Cider Vinaigrette.

Apple-Cider Vinaigrette: In small jar with tight-fitting lid, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons apple-cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

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