Pearl Couscous with Dried Fruits and Nuts

This makes for good lunches because it keeps for a while, a nice side dish, or an interesting offering in a potluck. Most importantly it’s easy and quick to get together.

Adapted from Foodiecrush.

Ingredients:
2 cups pearl couscous
1 cup dried apricot
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pistachios (roasted, unsalted)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (roasted, unsalted)

For the dressing:
1 french shallot
1/3 cup olive oil
2 table spoon white balsamic vinegar
2 tea spoon dijon mustard
2 tea spoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
ingredients

***

1. Combine the dressing ingredients.
dressing

2. Blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning and set aside.
smooth-dressing

3. Cook the pearl couscous (like pasta) until done but it still has a bit of texture. Drain and coat with the dressing,
add-dressing

4. Cut the dried apricots into smaller pieces. Add the cranberries. I aim for roughly 1 1/2 cup of dried fruits total.
dried-fruits

5. Add the fruits to the couscous.
add-fruits

6. Add the pistachios and pumpkin seeds.
nuts

7. Mix well to combine and transfer to a serving bowl. This can be eaten cold or warm.
serve

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Roasted Pear Salad

A light meal that is filling at the same time. Many contrasting textures in every bite.

Ingredients
1 bunch of salad greens
2 belgian endives
1/4 cup hazelnut nut oil
2 tablespoon white balsamic
1 tablespoon moutarde de meaux
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
3 pears
4 tablespoon pine nuts
4 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
feta cheese
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Wash and thinly slice the pears. Toss with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread on a baking tray in a single layer.
pears

2. Put in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip the slices gently and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes.
pears2

3. In that time, pour the pine nuts and pumpkin seeds in a cold, dry, stainless steel skillet. Turn the heat to medium and toast the nuts until the pine nuts are golden and the seeds crunchy. Toss often to prevent burning.
nuts

4. Set aside to cool.
nuts2

5. In a mason jar, pour the hazelnut oil, white balsamic, brown sugar, mustard and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
dressing1

6. Shake until well combined.
dressing2

7. Chop the greens. Mine were getting old and tired so I let them to soak in an ice bath while the pears cooked, It makes them crisp again.
greens

8. Take the pears out of the oven and allow to barely cool until you can handle them.
pears3

9. Assemble your plate. Add as much feta as you care for.
salad