Whole Wheat Couscous with Mushrooms and Celery

Picture above was taken at the Phoenix Botanical Garden exhibit featuring American artist and filmmaker Philip Haas. Sculpture shown is of "Spring".

Spring is officially here, it's BBQ season and we are on the lookout for great side dishes to go with our grilled food. I served this dish with a Balsamic grilled chicken and it was a great accompaniment. Recipe is adapted from "Ottolenghi The Cookbook". The mix of spices he uses is quite unusual and a real treat for the senses. You'll love it. There are so many incredible recipes in this book and the photography is amazing. I substituted couscous for the whole wheat grains that were originally used and made a few other changes as well. The dressing gives an unusual sweetness and brings out the nuttiness of the grain. The celery brings the crunch.


1 cup whole wheat couscous
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 large shallot (minced)
3 celery stalks (finely chopped)
1 cup cremini mushrooms
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare:

Begin by preparing the dressing at least an hour before serving the salad. Whisk together the sugar and vinegar until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the shallots and celery and leave to marinate.

In a large sauce pan, combine 1 cup water, 1 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Pour dry couscous into sauce pan. Stir well, cover and let stand 10 minutes.

To assemble the salad, put the mushrooms in a mixing bowl and toss with the dressing. Add the couscous, parsley and tarragon. Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!


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