Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Winter Beetroot Pearl Couscous Salad

Pearl couscous is also known as Jumbo couscous, Israeli couscous; and Jerusalem couscous.  It should not be confused with the traditional semolina couscous.  Pearl couscous as the name suggests are round beads or tiny balls.  Unlike traditional couscous, pearl couscous is made from baked wheat rather than semolina.  It is very similar to pasta in that it holds it shape and texture. 

This Beetroot Salad certainly has the Wow factor, especially as the bleeding juices from the beetroot penetrated the pearl couscous .  In fact the longer its left the colour deepens, as well as the flavour. 
Beetroot Pearl Couscous Salad

I struggled for many years to find Pearl couscous, so if you can't find any, it can easily be replaced with traditional North African couscous that are readily available in most supermarkets and health shops.
Winter Pearl Couscous Salad with Curly Kale
Serves 4 or 6 as a side dish
500g beetroot, peeled and chopped into even size cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Salt to taste
Handful of shredded winter greens
200g pearl couscous
For the dressing
Juice 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to gas mark 7. Put the beetroot in a roasting tin with the oil, vinegar, garlic and salt to taste. Mix well and cover the tin with foil. Roast for 45 minutes or until tender. 
Whilst the beetroot is roasting, in a large bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Set aside. Then boil some water in a pan, when boiling add the pearl couscous and cook like pasta until al dente. Drain and stir into the dressing and set aside.
When the beetroot is roasted, stir into the couscous along with any roasting juice, stir well and allow to stand for about 30 minutes (the longer the better) to allow the colour and flavours to mingle.
Leave for a couple of hours or even overnight for the flavours to infuse.
For the winter greens

In another pan, either steam or sauteed the winter greens (my preferred choice this time of year is curly kale).  When the greens are tender. stir into the pearl couscous. 


  1. I have a tiny little bottle of black currant balsamic that I bet would be wonderful with this beetroot peal couscous salad. Mmmmmm. I love the look of it, and I love it's on the list to try. Thanks Shaheen. Always inspiring.

    1. Wow Gardening Bren, sounds lovely and quite decadent. Posh you :) And as always Thank you for your warmth x

    2. Smile..yah it is rather posh, that's why its a teeny tiny bottle ;-) Can't wait to try this and I love the sound of your new post with the Hijiki seaweed and it looks beautiful too!

  2. You should try the combination of the traditional type of couscous with beetroot and mint. It's wonderful! I'm not so keen on that pearl couscous.

    1. Beetroot and mint sounds yummy! I will def do so in the very near future. PS I remember you mentioning before when I originally posted this blog post that you were not that keen on pearl couscous.

  3. Simply gorgeous - love the pink-tinged cous cous.


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