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Pot Luck Salad

This week my office had a pot luck lunch, and I felt compelled to make something myself rather than buy my contribution at the grocery store. Considering the situation – no real kitchen, no oven or stove except a microwave – I immediately thought of one of the picnic/potluck standbys: some sort of pasta salad. Yeah, boring. But why not go with Israeli couscous instead of bow-tie or rotini pasta?

I started from this Israeli couscous with parsley and shallots as seen at The Bitten Word; added some sweet peppadews, for color and crunch, as well as scallions and peas (frozen), also for color and because I had them. Once they had browned in the pan a bit, the shallots got a cool down in dry vermouth. Then they were joined by the whites of the scallions in the same pan. I mixed the softened shallots/scallions, as well as the peppadews, in with the couscous (obviously after cooking it according to package directions), then thawed the frozen peas in the shallot pan along with the scallion greens. These were then added to the shalloty couscous, along with freshly chopped parsley, some good olive oil, and lots of lemon juice. Right before serving, I threw in some creme fraiche, for light creaminess.

Overall, I got a good freshness from the peas, sweet bite from the peppadews, which was echoed in the light caramelized sweetness of the shallots, while the Israeli couscous had a nice chewy texture for this. Still, it’s best slightly warm, and maybe served over some red leaf lettuce, rather than after sitting in the fridge for half the day and then offered next to pasta and meatballs and tabuleh variations. For the next pot luck, perhaps I should make scones or something.

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