Turmeric Israeli Couscous


By Tanya Silverman

Photo by Tanya Silverman.

Some write off couscous as bland and boring. However, I consider it a versatile canvas of a carbohydrate. You can add exotic spices, plus a medley of sweet and savory ingredients, to amp it up into a tasty vegan salad.

My personal creation of Israeli couscous turmeric salad is a dish I’ll often take to potlatch parties as a go-to vegetarian option. But you can make a smaller portion at home to serve two or three people. The sugary dried fruit mixes in well with the spicy arugula, making the salad a finely filling course.

What you’ll need:
1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous
2 oz fresh arugula
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp turmeric
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

Add oil to a medium saucepan and turn to a medium heat. Pour in couscous and saute for five minutes, letting it turn a golden brown.

Slowly add the water into the saucepan and bring it to a boil.

Reduce to a medium-low heat, cover, and let simmer for 12 minutes, or until the water is absorbed.

Add oil to a separate frying pan and saute red onions over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Turn off heat when they begin to appear clear and let them cool.

Once the water is fully absorbed into the couscous, turn off the heat and it let cool for at least five minutes. Then, add then turmeric and mix the spice in vigorously with a small metal spoon until the powder is thoroughly absorbed and the couscous is consistently yellow.

Pour vinegar into the couscous and mix. After, add sauteed onions, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, and arugula. Mix everything together and add salt and pepper to season.