Dijon Couscous & Green Bean Salad
About five years ago I had a couple of friends get married around the same time frame. It was at one of these weddings I was introduced to Israeli couscous. I just KNEW it was from the wedding that served the lamb. However, Michael had his own version of the couscous memory and this brought on quite the debate in our household. I reached out to my friends who got married and come to find out, I was wrong! I have to give my husband all the credit for this one.
Before we can eat, let me introduce to you the group of educators brought together by a similar goal and celebrating a couple happy occasions.
Below are pictures of a hard working group of educators and spouses. Although I am no longer teaching, I will never forget the bond we created getting our hands dirty trying to fix an irreparable system. I am proud to have been part of this group even if our time fighting crime together was cut short. The #realsuperheros!
Let's get back to the food! Many years before this experience, I had only had the Moroccan Couscous. I was not a fan. As a matter of fact, I was making a recipe from a magazine that called for Moroccan Couscous and some type of fish. It was so bad! After two bites we threw it out. It wasn't my proudest moment and I'm not one to waste food. I can't remember what made the dish so bad and I won't give away the magazine from which we got the recipe. However, it left a terrible taste in my mouth when it came to couscous. I had no idea there was more than one kind.
Then there was mystery wedding that served Israeli couscous. These large pearls of pasta seemed to dance in your mouth like bubbles. Which by the way is what we call Israeli Couscous in our house, "Bubbles."
I still have yet to retry the Moroccan Couscous, but I am definitely hooked on the "bubbles." We eat a lot of it and they are super versatile.
Here is just one of the ways I make Israeli Couscous. Eat it hot or cold!
DIJON COUSCOUS & GREEN BEAN SALAD:
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 1/4 cup of Israeli Couscous
1 3/4 cup of water
2 teaspoons of chicken bouillon, optional
2 cups of steamed green beans
1/2 of the Lemon Dijon Sauce, see below
PREPARATION TIP:I will usually buy several servings of green beans and partially steam them before storing them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. This makes for a super easy vegetable side dish during a hectic work week. I will make a dish like this one or simply sautee the green beans in a frying pan with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper. Since they are partially cooked, you're talking 2-3 minutes to sautée.
Trim and wash your green beans and steam for 4-5 minutes. You are looking for the green beans to be fork tender, but not mushy.
Fill a large bowl full of ice water. When the green beans are perfectly steamed, toss them in the bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and ensure future green bean deliciousness.
At this point, the green beans can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or continue on for more instructions on this dish.
We love Trader Joe's. Who doesn't? Am I right? We like their perfectly portioned box of Israeli couscous. If you buy Israeli couscous in bulk, you will want to portion out 1 1/4 cups.
Dice a small onion and set a large pot over medium high heat. Swirl about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan. Once hot, add the couscous and the diced onion.
Continue to stir the onions and couscous around the pan for 2-3 minutes. Add the water and the bouillon and give it a good stir.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot for 5-10 minutes. Start with 5 minutes, then check to see if all the water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender. Then remove from the heat.
Once the couscous is perfect, stir in the green beans and lemon Dijon sauce. You can put the lid back on the pot and the green beans will absorb some of that residual heat.
Serve as a hot side dish or eat cold as a salad for lunch!
LEMON DIJON SAUCE:
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon of dry dill
1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Pinch of garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a small bowl. whisk together all the ingredients. Toss the sauce with the warm couscous and green beans.