recently, i'm all about cute little grains. last week i set y'all up with farro and this week, it's israeli couscous (don't worry, there's more than enough room in the pantry for both). i'm sure most of you have made couscous a few times in your life but may not be as familiar with the israeli variety, which is a pearl shaped pasta made of hard wheat (while traditional couscous is much finer and made of semolina). and unlike traditional couscous, israeli couscous is cooked more like orzo, in a broth using about a 1:1 ratio of pasta to liquid. it's got a tender bite and makes the cutest little pasta salads your backyard garden parties will ever see. toss with a couple of vegetables and perhaps a protein, and you've got yourself another new hit.
mediterranean israeli couscous salad
1 chicken breast, butterflied
salt & pepper
2.5 cups israeli couscous
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbs. olive oil
1 can of artichoke hearts, sliced into bite sized pieces
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
small handful of parsley
1 tsp. finely chopped shallot
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbs. white wine vinegar
3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
sprinkle salt and pepper over butterflied chicken breast, and set aside.
bring 3 cups of chicken broth to boil. add israeli couscou and cover, lowering heat to produce a steady simmer (low heat). while couscous is cooking, heat a grill pan to medium-high heat. drizzle olive oil over the pan to provide a good cooking surface for the chicken. after the pan and oil are heated up, add chicken breast, cooking on high for about 3 minutes each. then lower heat to medium and cover chicken and pan with a piece of aluminum foil and cook for another 2 minutes. remove from pan and leave chicken covered in foil and let cool before slicing. once chicken has cooled (about 10 minutes), slice it up and toss with the rest of the ingredients.
for the vinaigrette, mix together shallots and acid. slowly drizzle in olive oil and toss all the ingredients together with the dressing. salt and pepper to taste. enjoy!