Tomorrow I’m going to be posting about some of the staples I keep in my pantry and how I use them to make quick, easy meals. (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying to post more useful things like this in addition to recipes. Have any ideas for a post you’d like to see? Let me know!) But here’s a little spoiler for you: one of those staples that I always have on hand is couscous.
I love regular couscous, but lately I’ve been using more Israeli couscous. It’s larger than traditional couscous and has more of a pasta-like texture to it. You can use it in place of regular couscous (although they’re cooked differently, so be sure to follow the instructions on the package!) and it also makes a good substitute for pasta in a pasta salad (chilled or warm).
Last year I posted a recipe for Roasted Cauliflower & Kalamata Olives and I’ve been trying to work it into a pasta salad-like recipe for a few months now. You know how sometimes you make a recipe and it is so close to being good, but there’s always something a little bit off about it? That’s what kept happening with this one. And then summer came and it seemed kind of silly to continue working on a cauliflower recipe, so I set it aside until fall.
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Now that it’s (sort of almost) fall, I decided to revisit this recipe again and this time I thought I’d use Israeli couscous. Pasta didn’t work and whole-wheat couscous was a disaster, so I was hoping that Israeli couscous would be the solution. And it was! The Israeli couscous doesn’t soak up all of the lemon vinaigrette the way the whole-wheat couscous did (which made the salad way too dry!), but it soaks up more of it than pasta. The lemony dressing adds a bright note of citrus to the otherwise earthy combination of cauliflower and olives.
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