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Cold Israeli Couscous Salad with Walnut Oil recipe

This is a great cold pasta salad for the summer and very easy to make. It takes advantage of summer bounty, and with the addition of toasted walnut oil it has a nice toasted aroma. You can use any vegetables that are in season - use your imagination.

Ingredients:
2 cups Israeli couscous
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups boiling water
2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
3 tablespoons toasted walnut oil
1-1/2 tbsp champagne vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups) - halved
1/2 cup yellow peppers - diced
1/2 cup red bell peppers - diced
1/2 cup orange bell peppers - diced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley - chopped
1/2 tablespoon of walnut oil for drizzling
2 sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium low heat. Add the garlic and saute until garlic becomes fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Do not brown the garlic. Add the uncooked Israeli couscous to the pot and saute - about 5 minutes until couscous turns lightly golden brown. Cover couscous with boiling water and bring to a boil. Turn down heat, and simmer until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together walnut oil and champagne vinegar, salt and pepper. Add fresh thyme leaves and chopped parsley. As soon as couscous is done, drain well and add to dressing. Let sit until couscous has cooled and absorbed dressing.

3. Add chopped veggies, stir and chill covered for at least an hour, or overnight.

4. Transfer to serving dish, add drizzle of walnut oil, and top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Serve at room temperature.

serves 6-8
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