Israeli couscous with Cranberries, Pecans and Mandarin Vinaigrette

Israeli couscous also known as Jerusalem couscous are small balls of toasted semolina. They were developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce.  In Israel, they were originally called “Ben-Gurion rice”, named after Israel’s first prime minister David Ben Gurion, though it is mainly called “ptitim” nowadays. It is Pearl-shaped and is identical to the Levantine and North African pearled couscous, known as maftoul or moghrabieh in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and North Africa*
 
Israeli couscous can be used in many type of dishes, served both hot and cold. The grains retain their shape and texture even when reheated. It’s commonly enjoyed by kids with sautéed onions and tomato paste. It can also be used in soups, risottos and even served in a pie. 
 
Today, I am sharing my favorite recipe using this ingredient. This Israeli Couscous with Cranberries, Pecans and Mandarin Vinaigrette offers a beautiful explosion of colors, flavors and textures. It’s bright, sweet and tangy. 
 
This recipe was adapted from Whole Foods Market. Enjoy it!
  
Israeli Couscous with Cranberries, Pecans and Mandarin Vinaigrette
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Salad
  1. 2 cups Israeli couscous, uncooked
  2. 1 cup dried cranberries
  3. 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  4. 1 bunch of lacinato kale, destemmed and finely chiffonaded
  5. 2 scallions, minced
Dressing
  1. 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  2. 1 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar
  3. 4 mandarins ( zest and juice)
  4. 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  5. 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
  6. 1⁄2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium to large pot of salted water to a boil, and add the couscous. Cook just like pasta. 8-10 minutes or when it's al dente. Drain but do not rinse. Set aside and let it cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the Israeli couscous, cranberries, pecans, lacinato kale and scallions. Pour the well-whisked dressing over it and toss to combine.
  4. Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge for a few hours to blend the flavors.
Adapted from Whole Food Market - Epicurious
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
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