Delightful and flavourful, Couscous Green Pea Salad is prepared with almonds and feta, and gently tossed with a tangy and spicy vinaigrette. Serve this salad cold or at room temperature. It’s fresh and delicious; a wholesome meal couldn’t possibly get any better than this!
COUSCOUS GREEN PEA SALAD
Just like Nigella Lawson, I think the green pea is completely underutilized and unappreciated in most of our day-to-day cooking. To counter that, I’m showcasing them in this Couscous Green Pea Salad recipe! For those of you not food-obsessed like me, let me tell you a little about the wonderfully talented and brilliant, Nigella Lawson.
MY OBSESSION WITH NIGELLA LAWSON!
For those of you who don’t know, Nigella is an English journalist and television personality. After graduating from Oxford, she worked as a book reviewer and restaurant critic. Later, she was the editor of The Sunday Times. After a career in journalism as a freelance writer, she published her first cookbook, How to Eat. The rest, as they say, is history.
I found Nigella Lawson after she started hosting her own cooking television show in 1999 – Nigella Bites. I’m addicted to the Food Network because of shows like hers. Also, I can’t pry my eyes away from the screen when watching The Pioneer Woman, Farmhouse Rules, Barefoot Contessa, and Southern at Heart.
I’m a Food Network junkie – really! I could watch it all day, every day. Honestly, Dear Reader, If I had to choose my favourite cooking show of all time, it would be a tie. First, it would be Julia Childs’ The Master Chef. And, secondly, I’d have to say the Two Fat Ladies with Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright. God, I miss those shows!
THE HUMBLE GREEN PEA
You might be asking yourself why I’m going on and on about Nigella. Well, the answer is simple – the woman loves green peas. I swear, Dear Reader, every second recipe she prepares, has green peas in it and she couldn’t be more proud of it and her love for the simple, inexpensive vegetable. Couscous Green Pea Salad makes me think of Nigella and her green pea obsession. Ha!
Recently, John.e and I were having a discussion about how I could incorporate more protein into the vegetarian meals that I prepare for him and McKenna. A quick Google search taught me that green peas are actually quite a good source of protein. In fact, green peas boast eight grams of protein for just one cup. Is it any wonder this couscous dish is loaded up with the underestimated green pea?
Oh, and if you notice, I used the mini frozen green pea for this recipe. I prefer the smaller green peas, personally. You can feel free to use the regular frozen green peas. Just don’t – under any circumstance – use canned green peas. They are squishy and chemically processed. Basically, they’re just plain gross. (Not that I’m overly opinionated or anything!)
WHAT IS COUSCOUS?
There are two very common types of couscous. The first type is Moroccan couscous. This is the type I’m using in this recipe. It is small in size, and is easily found in most grocery stores. Also, it cooks up very fast because it basically needs to be just re-hydrated in hot water. Sometimes, the package is labeled instant, but you should check the instructions to see if soaking is needed before cooking.
The second most common type is Israeli or Pearl couscous. This one is noticeably larger in diameter and in comparison to Moroccan couscous, it requires a little longer to cook. First, it is simmered on the stovetop and then briefly covered until tender. It has more of a pasta-like taste and texture with some springiness. I have used this type in my Israeli Couscous Dried Fruit Salad.
Since couscous is made with crushed semolina, it’s basically a pasta. But, it can also be classified as a grain. Therefore, I tend to think of it as a great substitute for rice or noodles, especially since the cooking time is extremely fast, and the price is extremely low!
Couscous Green Pea Salad
- 4 cups cooked couscous, cooled
- 4 cups green peas, frozen
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup almonds, sliced
- 1/2 cup feta crumbles, plus more for garnish, optional
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for garnish, optional)
- Over medium heat, in a large skillet, add one tablespoon of hte olive oil along with the onion. Saute unitl the onion is just cooked through – about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir into the onions. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the frozen peas and stir into the onion and garlic mixture. Saute for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow peas to completely cool.
- In the meantime, whisk together the other tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, vinegar, honey, red chili flakes, and parsley. Set aside.
- Add the cooked and cooled couscous, along with the almonds, to the cooled pea and onion mixture. Toss to combine.
- Pour over the sauce and add the feta crumbles; toss to coat.
- Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Store leftovers in refrigerator for up to four days.