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From the SCCC Kitchen: Israeli couscous salad capitalizes on garden bounty

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
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Schenectady County Community College’s Lois Keefrider says Israeli couscous salad is “great for the end of season because all the vegetables are coming into harvest.”
Schenectady County Community College’s Lois Keefrider says Israeli couscous salad is “great for the end of season because all the vegetables are coming into harvest.”

“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s culinary arts program.

The word “couscous” is easy to pronounce. Just say “koos-koos.”

Lois Keefrider’s couscous salad is easy to make. And it comes with a garden full of vegetables.

“Couscous is pasta,” Keefrider said. “Israeli couscous is larger balls that hold their shape well. It’s kind of like a barley, but it is a pasta. It’s got a nice, chewy texture to it.”

Corn, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and green beans add extra flavor and color. A lemon vinaigrette adds a fruit-flavored boost. And crumbled goat cheese puts dairy into the mix.

Keefrider said the dish is a nice alternative to the assortment of salads people see at summer and autumn parties. “It’s great for the end of season because all the vegetables are coming into harvest,” she said.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Corn, Green Beans, Zucchini, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Kosher salt

1 cup fresh corn kernels

1 cup green beans (cut into 1-inch pieces)

21⁄4 cups Israeli couscous

1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice, more as needed

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup diced or sliced zucchini (1⁄2-inch dice or 1⁄4-inch thick half rounds)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup crumbled goat cheese

4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the corn kernels until just tender, about 1 minute; transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; transfer to the colander.

Cook the couscous in the boiling water until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the couscous and toss it immediately with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Let the couscous cool completely in the refrigerator.

Put the lemon juice in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the remaining 1⁄2 cup of olive oil. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice or olive oil as needed.

Put the cooked and cooled couscous in a large serving bowl and toss to break up any clumps. Add the corn, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes, goat cheese, basil, and the vinaigrette and toss. Taste and season as needed with more salt and pepper.

Serves 8 to 10.

Reach Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 395-3124 or at wilkin@dailygazette.com.

 
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