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Couscous Salad (Rev)

Couscous is a wonderful grain and change of pace from rice.  It is a staple in the Maghreb, the northwest area of Africa that includes Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria.  A “couscous mini-cuisine” has evolved there. The base grain of couscous is durum wheat— a very hard wheat with high protein.  The durum endosperm is used to make couscous grain and is also milled to make semolina flour.  Like rice, couscous readily takes on spices, seasonings and sauces. Most supermarkets carry a packaged couscous, with small, almost fine, grains.  It comes plain and seasoned--buy plain.  Here is a more authentic way to make it than you'll find on box tops or in cookbooks. Steaming produces a lighter fluffier couscous and is well worth the extra time to make it. Also, since the steamer is out to make the couscous, you might as well steam the veggies for a few minutes to soften them and get the crunchiness out of the salad.

Here's how:

Couscous Salad
See Abbreviations, if needed 
Yield:  about 10 servings as a side
• 10 oz      couscous
• 1.5 C       plain yogurt
• 2 T          red wine vinegar
• 1.5 T       Dijon mustard
• 3 T          EVOO, your best quality
• 2 C         diced yellow and red peppers
• 1 C         diced scallions or shallots
• 1/2 C      diced calamata olives
• 1 C         minced fresh parsley or cilantro
• S/P         to taste (needs salt)

1. Prep couscous and cool
2. Place the diced veggies into the steamer used to make the couscous and steam them for 3 minutes
3. Combine yogurt, red wine vinegar, and mustard in large stainless steel bowl
4. Whisk in EVOO
5. Fold in the other ingredients and then add the couscous
6. Fold all well to coat
7. Serve ambient


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