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Israeli Couscous Salad with Corn, Green Beans and Goat Cheese

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Serves 8-10

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 117

The small, chewy pearls of Israeli couscous make a wonderful textural contrast to the crisp-tender vegetables and creamy goat cheese in this pasta salad. It's a terrific side dish for a late-summer cookout or barbecue.

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup cut green beans (cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 2-1/4 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed 
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, more as needed
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cups diced or sliced zucchini (1/2-inch dice or 1/4-inch thick half-rounds)
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 Tbs. chopped fresh basil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook the corn kernels until just tender, about 1 minute; transfer with a slotted spoon to a colander. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook  until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes; transfer to the colander. 

Keep the water at a boil while you toast the couscous in two batches in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring, until golden-brown, about 4 minutes. Cook the couscous in the boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the couscous and toss it immediately with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Let the couscous cool completely in the refrigerator.

Put the lemon juice in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Taste and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice or olive oil as needed.

Put the cooked and cooled couscous in a large serving bowl and toss to break up any clumps. Add the corn, green beans, zucchini, goat cheese, basil, and the vinaigrette and toss. Taste and season as needed with more salt and pepper. Serve within an hour or two of making.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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