Posted November 30, 2009 by Jennifer Lam (Jenius) in Competitions and Giveaways

Cooking with pearl couscous

Print Friendly

Rice and pasta are kitchen staples I can’t live without. And now, thanks to Blu and the team at Haystac, I can add Pearl Couscous (also known as Israeli couscous) to my list of must-have versatile ingredients.
You can win 1 of 5 packs of Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous to trial in your very own kitchen. Keep reading to find out how!
Peal couscous takes its name from its unique pearl-like shape and size. They’re around 3mm in size and made from hard wheat toasted in an open flame oven, which gives them a rich, nutty flavour and a smooth texture -perfect for absorbing sauces, stocks and spices!
I put these to the test and made both a savoury and a sweet dish.

Smoked cod and fennel soup with pearl couscous
Adapted from Marie Claire Comfort by Michele Cranston
1 small fennel bulb
1 tablespoon butter
1 small leek, rinsed and finely sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 litre fish stock
½ litre water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4x 100g smoked cod fillets
4 tablespoons aioli
10 basil leaves, roughly torn
¾ cup Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous
Trim the fennel bulb, reserving the feathery tops, then cut the bulb in half and finely slice it.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the leek and cook until soft, then add the tomato, sliced fennel and stock. Bring to the boil, add remaining water then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and fish and cover. Cook for 7 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
Lift out the fish and add the pearl couscous, stir well and simmer for a further 8 minutes.
Add fish back in and simmer for a few minutes. Divide among four warmed pasta bowls. Ladle the broth over the fish and top with a spoonful of aioli. Garnish with the fennel tops and basil.
Serves 4.

Smoked cod and fennel soup with pearl couscous
Smoked cod and fennel soup with pearl couscous

I love the simple flavours in this soup. It is almost a bouillabaisse but not as rich. The broth tastes delicate and light and the best thing about this recipe is that the pearl couscous makes it a meal!
I also wanted to play around with spices so poached a cup of pearl couscous in a divine syrup of fruit juices, lemon rind, cinnamon sticks, star anise, vanilla bean and honey, and then once chilled, I mixed it with some fresh strawberries and blueberries. The result was a sublime fruity dessert.

Sweet pearl couscous with berries, icecream and pineapple jerky
Sweet pearl couscous with berries, French vanilla bean ice-cream and pineapple jerky

Sweet pearl couscous with berries and vanilla bean ice-cream
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 4 apples
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon butter
2 – 4 teaspoons honey, to taste
1 cup of Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous
2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split
water, as required
Handful berries, according to personal taste
4 scoops vanilla bean icecream
Combine the juices, zest, honey, butter, star anise, cinnamon and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir every few minutes until honey has dissolved.
Bring to the boil, then add the pearl couscous. Simmer for 6 minutes and add water if necessary.
Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Allow the couscous to remain covered until cool; fluff with a fork occassionally.
Remove spices and mix through berries (I’ve used quartered strawberries and whole blueberries). Serve chilled with a scoop of ice-cream.
Serves 4.
I’ve served these with a slice of pineapple jerky as well, as I’ve been slightly obsessed with my fruit dehydrator lately… more to come on that shortly!

uncooked pearl couscous
Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous

Win 1 of 5 packs of Blu Gourmet Pearl Couscous
To enter, simply leave a comment below in 25 words or less and tell me what you would use pearl couscous for?

Sorry, for Australian residents only. Competition entry closes on 8/12/09 11:59pm; winners will be announced on 9/12/09. Please use a valid email address so you can be contacted for your mailing address, shall you win.
Good luck and happy eating! x
For more information on pearl couscous, visit Blu’s official website.


Congratulations to KT, Katherine, Anita, Bri and Mooksy!

Jennifer Lam (Jenius)

Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Having grown up in a family where food was always at the centre of all celebrations, family events and milestones, Jen is obsessed with capturing irresistible flavours and stories from myriad cultures. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering people to have good food and invigorating adventures - because life is too short for mediocre meals or dull travel. Her hobbies are breakfast, lunch and dinner. She's globally curious, passionate about female entrepreneurship, is a soy chai latte fanatic, and loves vintage, dressmaking and photography.