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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Season's Bounty - Israeli Couscous With Fig & Arugula

It's that time of year again - when we share our newest version of our absolute favorite starchy side - Israeli Couscous. Check out old recipes HERE, HERE, and HERE. Today's creation came to be thanks to inspiration from especially sweet, in-season Figs. 


Israeli Couscous With Fig & Arugula, Photo: NK
One look at their dark purple hue and strikingly rosy inner flesh and I new they'd need to make it to the dinner table somehow. Israeli Couscous is a great vehicle for an endless number of flavor profiles. Today's also includes crispy, toasted Almonds, Sharp Provolone, and more crunch and color from Red Onions. To finish, we stir in thin ribbons of farm fresh Arugula to add a slight bite to the dish. The results are delicious. 

As with all Couscous, you can boil the grains ahead and incorporate the rest of the ingredients whenever it's convenient. It is a good idea to let the finished product sit at least an hour for the flavors to blend. The longer it sits, the better it gets! 


Seasonal Israeli Couscous With Fig, Arugula & Toasted Almonds
Serves 8 as a small side dish

Ingredients:
2 Cups Dry Israeli Couscous
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Ounces Sharp Provolone, cut into a small dice
1 small bunch of Arugula, minced
1/2 medium Red Onion finely diced
7 Large Black Figs cut into eighths 
3 Tablespoons Toasted Slivered Almonds
Sea Salt or fine table Salt
Pepper

Dressing Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Fine Quality Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Balsamic Vineger
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt



Method: 
In a large, deep pan, toast dry Couscous over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until it takes on some color. Remove before any of it burns. Prepare 2 Cups of the Dry, toasted Couscous according to the package directions using water. Do not overcook. Leave it slightly al dente. Put in a large bowl and add 1 Tablespoon good quality Olive Oil. Add a few shakes of Salt. Stir and let cool slightly.

Next, add the Red Onion, Provolone, Toasted Almonds, and Arugula. Stir to combine. 


Prepare the Dressing by combining the three ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the Couscous and toss to distribute. 

Finally, add the Figs by stirring in gently. Taste for seasoning and add Pepper. Add additional Salt as needed. You can let this sit at room temperature up to an hour. If longer, let it sit in the fridge. Allow some times for flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving. Enjoy!

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