The story of how Pearl (couscous) went from drab to fab

It was a dark and stormy night getting late in the evening and I had no motivation (or inspiration) to make dinner.  So I started scrolling through this Whole Foods app thingie to try to get ideas and came across this (not vegan) recipe that used pearl (aka Israeli) couscous. I thought to myself—Hmm, I think I’ve got a jar of that in the pantry somewhere and I haven’t had couscous in awhile. Not a huge fan of tiny couscous, but I love this bigger pearl couscous because it tastes more like pasta. Which I guess it kinda is. Wait, what is couscous??? Oh, ok.  It is basically tiny pasta balls. Cool. Thanks Wikipedia.

Couscous seemed simple enough. I decided to just cook up the couscous and mix it with whatever veggies we had and some olive oil, salt and pepper. When I took stock of our produce situation I realized we had peaches that needed to be eaten along with a bag of king trumpet shrooms. Ok, if I was gonna have the king trumpets they had to be grilled like last time because they were delicious that way. And since I had the grill pan out, I decided I might as well grill the peaches too. Then I realized I had way more peaches than I needed to grill so it only made sense to use the extra peaches to make sauce to go over everything.

And that’s the story of how a  “well ya gotta eat” meal turned into a “blog about it” kind of meal.

I loved this salad because it wasn’t really a salad. It struck a nice balance between crisp freshness and grilled savory-ness all enveloped in summer sweetness  thanks to those Georgia peaches!

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Pearl Couscous Salad with Grilled Peaches

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 3/4 cup veggie stock
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 2 whole peaches for the sauce + 4 sliced peaches for grilling
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil (amount varies)
  • maple syrup (amount varies)
  • salt and pepper (amount varies)
  • 16 oz bag of king trumpet mushrooms sliced to “scallop” sizes
  • 2-3 stalks of chopped green onion

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Directions

  1. Toast the dry couscous with 1 tbs of olive oil in a small pot on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. Parts of the couscous should get golden in color.
  2. Add in the veggie stock, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 10-12 minutes until the broth is absorbed and couscous is tender.
  3. Throw the cooked couscous in a large bowl with the cucumber and toss it with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. For the sauce, throw the garlic cloves and the 2 whole peaches (pits removed) into a blender along with a small drizzle of olive oil and maple syrup and a pinch of salt. Blend. Taste. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Blend again. Continue blending in small amounts of olive oil, maple syrup, salt and/or pepper until you get desired consistency and balance between savory and sweet. Set aside.
  5. Grill the 4 sliced peaches along with the king trumpet mushrooms.
  6. Put everything together by layering the grilled peaches and mushrooms on the couscous salad and pouring the peach sauce on top. Top with the green onions for presentation and taste!
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16 thoughts on “The story of how Pearl (couscous) went from drab to fab

  1. Hannah (BitterSweet)

    Wow, I would have never thought that peaches and mushrooms would go together, but both looks and sounds incredible. Talk about elevating the standard set of ingredients into something special! This has summer loving written all over it.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      It was tasty. I think it was the first time that I made something semi-interesting with an odd assortment of produce that was gonna go bad if we didn’t eat it soon.:-P

      Reply
  2. midwestvaygun

    This looks wonderful! If only they made gluten free cous cous- although at that point its just swapping fro rice or quinoa ;)

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Actually, I really did not know what couscous was (grain, etc.). I looked it up because I wanted to know whether or not I could categorize the dish as gluten-free. I am not gluten-free but I am trying to incorporate more gluten free recipes on the blog but dang, I have a hard time doing that.

      Reply
  3. Cadry's Kitchen

    Wow, you make some impressive no motivation meals! This sounds amazing! Like you, I’m not a fan of tiny couscous. I haven’t tried this larger pearl couscous, but I bet I’d like it since my aversion to the tiny one is a texture issue. I’m sure this was wonderfully fresh & light!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I think you might like the larger couscous. I didn’t think about it until you said it, but I think it is the texture of the small one that gets to me. The larger couscous has more of a bite to it.

      Reply

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