Part one of my National Pasta Day blog was about as old-school as it gets – Basil Pesto Pasta.
Here for Part Two, I’m changing it up by using Israeli Couscous instead of traditional pasta. I really like the texture of the couscous and the tartness that the pomegranate molasses and cherries add to this dish. It makes a lot and keeps well for a few days. I think the more sage leaves in it the better.
One of my new favorite ingredients is Israeli Couscous. Sometimes called Pearl couscous, it’s twice the size of traditional couscous and because it’s toasted, it has a nuttier flavor. Its size and chewy texture make it an interesting substitute for pasta in pasta salads. While developing my Salmon Couscous Salad for More Salad Joy, I came up with this one.
Pomegranate Chicken Couscous
2 cups cooked white meat Chicken, shredded
1 cup uncooked Israeli Couscous, cooked according to package directions
1 Leek, halved and sliced, white and light green parts only
3 T Walnut Oil, total
¾ whole Walnuts, roughly chopped
7 oz. Feta, cubed
½ cup Sage Leaves
Vegetable Oil for frying
½ cup Dried Sour Cherries
2 T Pomegranate Molasses
Cook the couscous according to package directions and transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool. Add the cooked shredded chicken.
Toast the walnuts in a dry pan for about three minutes. Cool, roughly chop and add to couscous mixture.
Lightly sauté the leek in one tablespoon of walnut oil for about one minute and add to the couscous.
Add the cubed feta and sour cherries to the mixture. Mix in the pomegranate molasses and the remaining two tablespoons of walnut oil.
Flash fry the whole sage leaves in vegetable oil, transfer to paper towels to cool, then add to the couscous and mix well.
Serve in bowls and garnish with sage leaves.