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!
Pearl Couscous Salad with Grilled Peaches
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Grill the 4 sliced peaches along with the king trumpet mushrooms.
- 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!