Pearl Couscous Salad

I made a salad tonight on the fly for dinner. It turned out well and was one of those cases where luck played into it.

I received a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pearled Couscous while at BlogHer Food. I love couscous but had never dealt with pearled couscous. Bob’s Red Mill didn’t tell me to blog about it and is definitely not responsible for any disasters with my preparation of this dish.

I peeked at the back of the bag and there was a recipe for a pesto couscous dish with zucchini. That was out. No zucchini–and I wanted something cold anyway. Ok, I thought, I will ignore that recipe and use what I have–this couscous, pesto, some cherry tomatoes and some mushrooms.

First step: Throw 2 cups of couscous and the amount of water prescribed into rice steamer. Directions for cooking pearled couscous looked suspiciously like rice which I can NOT cook stove top.

Discover rice cooker has died and the symptoms of death I noticed last night were not in fact aberrant oddities. Did the usual unplug, check the outlet, replug, blah! Maybe uttered a few mild curses.

Dump couscous in pot on stove. Turned it on medium. Covered. Set timer. Walked away. Ignored any other directions. Smelled burning popcorn smell. Went to check and indeed couscous has burned to bottom and sides of pan. The rest was salvageable. The whole house starts to smell like a teenager has burned popcorn.

Chopped tomatoes in half, sliced mushrooms, stirred in tub of pesto. Tasted. Not quite right. Chopped a large onion-a bit strong but perfect.
I tossed it in the fridge for an hour. Served dinner. Pearled couscous was delicious and NOT at all messy like “typical couscous.”

I should have used less onion and there could have been more mushrooms and tomatoes but on the whole–super fab and easy main dish dinner. It was a nice change of pace from pasta salads.

I may have lost another pot over the cooking, but if you can cook rice or just follow directions, I think you are safe.


  1. It was good, though a little weird to wake up to burnt popcorn smell. I thought Michelle and/or Elly had returned home without me knowing it.

    And of course the pan is still soaking in the sink. Gah!

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