Undoubtedly the Earth is enormous; there are 7.9 billion people in the world distributed in 7 continents. Each region has its peculiarities, different geography, culture, history, traditions, language, way of living, and, of course, food.
Through food, people around the world express their identity and traditions. It is one of the ways of identifying countries and regions, mainly because it is the perfect translation of countries´ diversity.
Therefore, specific ingredients and flavors are related to iconic dishes from particular countries. For instance, there are easily recognized food preparations: Asian food, Mediterranean food, American food, and many more.
Mediterranean cuisine refers to the food of countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Libya, Egypt, and others.
The Mediterranean diet is exquisite, healthy, and full of exotic flavors of herbs and spices. It is based on garlic, olive oil, olives, parsley, mushroom, tomato, onion, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and ginger. This food also contains whole grains, seeds, and bread.
One of the best known Mediterranean staple foods is rice, but varieties of pasta as couscous are used as well. Couscous is a type of pasta made from semolina, a ground durum wheat. The semolina is moistened and tossed to form tiny yellow spheres. Three types of couscous are widely known: Moroccan, Israeli and Lebanese.
They are different in size and cooking time, and you can buy any of them at stores. The most popular is Israeli couscous, because of its size and quick cooking time.
Israeli couscous, also known as Pearl couscous, is pasta extruded to form pearls; that then are dried and toasted in ovens. It has a slightly savory flavor with a somewhat fibrous texture. It is very versatile and perfect to use in innumerable dishes. If you do not try it, you can start by cooking simple recipes.
Mediterranean couscous salad
Pearl couscous can be prepared the same way you cook rice or pasta. You only need to put the couscous in boiling water, wait until it is tender and ready to use in various preparations. If you have not used couscous yet, try https://riceselect.com/product/riceselect-pearl-couscous, and start cooking delicious meals.
As a widely used staple food, it can be served with any protein, vegetables, stews, salads, and as filler in peppers. The dishes that you can create by pairing couscous with Mediterranean flavors are innumerable.
However, it’s most commonly used in salads. The traditional salad recipe includes classic Mediterranean ingredients as feta cheese, olives, cucumber, arugula, chickpeas, and a dressing made with red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, and herbs.
You can start with this traditional recipe, and then try changing some ingredients each time and you will have different salads for any occasion.
Mediterranean couscous salad with feta
Servings: 4 Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup of pearl couscous.
- 2 cups of water.
- 2 cups of cherry tomatoes cut in halves.
- 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese.
- 2 cups of chopped cucumber.
- 2 cups of arugula.
- 1/4 cup of mint.
- Olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
- Lemon zest.
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Pinch of smoked paprika.
- Salt to taste.
- Cook couscous. In a saucepan, pour some olive oil, and cook at medium heat.
- Add the couscous and toast.
- Incorporate the water and salt, mix.
- Bring to a boil, and cook until couscous is tender.
- Remove excess cooking liquid, and reserve.
- Make the dressing by mixing olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, paprika, and salt.
- In a bowl, mix couscous and the dressing. Stir very well.
- Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Incorporate arugula, cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and mint.