This fresh corn, pine nut, and Israeli couscous salad was supposed to be a simple backdrop to a lamb shank recipe I've been working on.
Unfortunately, the lamb recipe didn't make the cut because this simple side dish way out shined it. Israeli couscous is pasta, similar to Italian orzo, but spherical in shape. Add some toasted pine nuts and fresh corn kernels and you have a warm salad with nice textures and subtle nutty-sweet flavors.
Couscous itself is bland and steaming it in vegetable or chicken broth will add flavor. The couscous will soak up all the cooking liquid, so make sure it is flavorful and well seasoned to begin with and you won't have to adjust later. Toss in some cilantro at the end for color and extra kick.
More Couscous recipes from around the blogosphere:
3 cups Israeli couscous
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 ears of corn, shucked, kernels cut off
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 bunch cilantro, leaves minced
Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & pepper
Bring broth up to a boil in a medium sauce pot. Make sure it is well seasoned if broth is sodium-free. Add couscous, stir, place lid on top and turn down heat to low. Steam for 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
In a non stick skillet over medium high heat toast pine nuts until golden brown. Set aside. In the same pan add 1T olive oil and the fresh corn kernels. Toast until slightly charred and tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. When couscous is cooked, add 1 T of olive oil and adjust seasoning. Add corn and pinenuts. Toss with fresh cilantro. Serve