Couscous Salad with Arugula and Pomegranates

Seasons are a little upside down here in Dubai. We are situated in the northern hemisphere, but when it comes to growing your own fruit or vegetables in the garden, it resembles more the way plants would grow in the southern hemisphere. One and only reason is the incredible heat that we have to endure from May til September. During that time nothing grows.

Now at the end of September, one can feel the end of summer coming. After 4pm it is not as hot as it used to be, although still well in the 30C/90F.
Since my son has been 2 years old, we have the tradition of planting tomatoes in our little garden patch. Tomatoes have always been a success. Other veggies or herbs were not consistent in their development.

10 days ago, we planted our seeds again: radishes, tomatoes, arugula, thyme, mint, basil, sage, oregano, lavender, and some flowers. Apart from the lavender, everything has sprouted. Radishes and arugula look very promising. The sunflowers are about 2 inches above the ground. I can't wait to pick a handful of my own arugula to throw in a salad. The wait won't be long. From what I read, it takes about 4 weeks from planting the seeds to harvest. The radishes will take about the same time.

This couscous salad started with a punnet of pomegranate seeds that I found in the store the other day. Pomegranate is now in season in the northern hemisphere. I couldn't resist the bright color and arranged the rest of the salad around it. The Flavor Bible was once again my big help in arranging exciting flavors: sweet and fruity pomegranates, bitter arugula, fresh cucumbers and earthy almonds combined with mild couscous. A light lemon dressing brings all these strong flavors into one great harmony. This salad is filling and healthy. It keeps well in the fridge, so will be good to pack for lunch the next day.

(Print Recipe)

3/4 cup whole wheat couscous
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup boiling water

1 medium cucumber
2 cups arugula 
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup toasted almonds

1/2 lemon, juice of
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Serves 4
In a large bowl, combine couscous with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pour over boiling water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. When all the water has been absorbed, fluff up the couscous with a fork.

Quarter the cucumber lengthwise, then chop each piece into bite sizes. Wash and pat dry the arugula and roughly chop it. Chop the almonds. Stir cucumber, arugula, pomegranates and almonds into the couscous.

In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour dressing over the salad and stir. Ready to serve. Keeps well in the fridge for one day, when covered with plastic wrap.

The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs

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