It started with the spotting of whole wheat pearl couscous in the aisles of Wegmans, the familiar packaging of Bob’s Red Mill grains beckoning me. I have never cooked with pearl couscous before, but the idea of turning these beautiful grains into a healthy lunch sounded good. I looked up a few recipes that used regular couscous and decided to throw together things in my fridge and pantry to create this wonderful, deeply satisfying salad.
- 1 cup whole wheat pearl couscous
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 14 cherry tomatoes
- 8-10 nuts of your choice (I used leftover macademia nuts)
- 2 tbps raisins or craisins (I used craisins)
- 2 tsps ras el hanout (a north African spice mix available on Amazon)
- 2 green chilis finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Roast the couscous in a pan for 10 minutes till light brown and set aside.
- Bring 1.5 cups of water to a boil, add the roasted couscous and salt and cook over a low flame till the couscous is cooked and the water has evaporated. This took me about 12 minutes.
- Transfer the couscous to a large bowl.
- Heat 2 tbsps of oil in the pan that you used to cook the couscous, add the chopped onions and sauté till the onions turn brown. Add the cherry tomatoes, nuts, raisins and ras el hanout and toss till the tomatoes are coated with the spice.
- Turn off the heat and toss the onion mix into the cooked couscous.
- Now add the chilies, cilantro, parsley and lemon juice. Give the contents another toss and serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: If your tolerance for spices is low, cut back the ras el hanout to one tsp and use one chili instead.