I love couscous. I had never had it until I moved to France. It’s easy to fix and goes really great with tajine dishes. One day, while surfing the net, I found a recipe on a blog-I can’t remember where now-which called for Israeli Couscous. I had no idea what it was and I couldn’t find it anywhere here in Paris and was about to try regular couscous when I finally found it. It turns out that it isn’t like the regular product that you buy but is actually a pasta invented when rice and couscous was hard to come by in Israel. Who knew, right?
The recipe was fairly complex and it took me over a week to come up with all of the ingredients. Besides the Israeli couscous, I had to find a butternut squash which is not common here in Paris. I also needed golden raisins which took me to several stores and pine nuts. Locating preserved lemons had me at the food market at Galeries LaFayette where I finally saw some. So I finally made the dish and when I served it to Maurice he more or less said, “Meh.” It just didn’t have any taste so I added a vinagarette which helped but I could tell that it wouldn’t be requested by Maurice again unlike the white bean and roasted red pepper salad I had made. I really like all of the textures in the dish though-crunchy nuts, chewy sweet raisins, the slightly sour taste of the preserved lemons. I especially loved the texture of the Israli couscous.
So I have an unfinished package of the couscous in my cabinet and decided I needed to try and use it. So this time I boiled up the couscous for about 15 minutes and drained it and added chopped peel of a preserved lemon, dried cranberries, a sauted, chopped onion, pinenuts, roasted tomates and chopped avocado. I also made a vinagarette to mix in it. It turned out very good. I think that the next time I make this dish, I will also add either shrimp or chopped chicken. It was much easier than the other dish and I liked the taste. Maybe I will even remember to take a photo.