Israeli Couscous Salad with Pomegranate Syrup

"i love food way too much. eating peanut butter from the jar while cooking dinner? yea, that's a real thing."

That is a post from Smak's Twitter from last night. It is true. I unfortunately am having a love affair with food. Thank the Dear Lord that I have joined a gym and a devoted to getting into shape otherwise I'd be a 300-pound food blogger. Whether I am enjoying a delectable breakfast or something as cheap and simple as peanut butter, I cannot get enough of eating food. There is simply too much goodness to pass up.

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I own two cookbooks from brother chefs Max and Eli Sussman. Their photography, their story, their recipes. I can sit and read these cookbooks over and over again. While I've tried a number of their recipes, this is one that I have been meaning to take a stab at for quite some time.

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I feel as though I am starting to sound like a broken record, but I cannot tell you enough the importance of being willing to take risks and put your own twist on recipes. While I stayed fairly true to the original recipe, I make a few minute adjustments.

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The contrast of the sweet pomegranate syrup against the bitter arugula and roasted garlic dressing provided the salad with a depth unlike many counterparts. Salads have the dangerous tendency to be bland, especially if you are "trying to be healthy." This does not follow that trend.

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Besides the simple fact that the flavors in this dish and superb, the salad is gorgeous. The variety of colors and textures put this salad on my list of favorite salads. Give it a whirl and see if you agree.


Israeli Couscous Salad with Pomegranate Syrup Serves 4


2 cups pomegranate juice 1 teaspoon coconut sugar Kosher salt 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 cup Israeli couscous 1/2 head cauliflower, cored and broken into small florets 3/4 pound mini heirloom tomatoes 1/2 cup julienned red onion roasted garlic dressing (recipe below) 3 ounces baby arugula


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the pomegranate juice and coconut sugar and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the juice is reduced to 2-3 tablespoons syrup, about 30 minutes. Set the pomegranate syrup aside.
  2. In a saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil over high heat. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and about 2 tablespoon olive oil. Pour in the couscous, stir once, and reduce the heat to low. Cover tightly and let simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir with a spoon, then cover again until ready to use.
  3. While the couscous is simmering, in a large sauté pan, heat about 1/4 cup of the olive oil over high heat. Add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and sauté until the cauliflower is dark around the edges but not completely tender, 3-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Return the pan to high heat and add the tomatoes to the residual olive oil. Add another tablespoon oil if the pan seems dry. Cook until the skins are blistered, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, cauliflower, tomatoes, onion, and dressing and toss to mix well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the arugula and toss gently to combine. Place on a serving platter and finish with a drizzle of the pomegranate syrup. Serve right away.