Ohhh my, how much do I love salads! Especially the ones you can eat as a meal! Refreshing, fresh, pure and full of flavour and texture. I cannot wish for more. Today a pearl couscous salad. Really a great discovery, pearl couscous. I love everything about it!
Did you know that the real name is actually Ptitim. No idea how to pronounce it, but it sounds delicious!
The name made me really curious about he origin and story behind this ‘couscous’, so I decided to ask my friend Wikipedia for some more information. I hope you enjoy it!
Ptitim is a type of toasted pasta shaped like rice grains or little balls developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce. Outside Israel, it is typically marketed as Israeli couscous, Jerusalem couscous, or pearl couscous. In Israel, it originally became known as “Ben-Gurion rice”, though it is mainly called “ptitim” nowadays. It is pearl-shaped and is similar to the Levantine and North African pearled couscous, known as maftoul or moghrabieh in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority and Syria and North Africa.
Ptitim was “invented” in 1953, during the austerity period in Israel. Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, asked Eugen Proper, one of the founders of the Osem food company, to quickly devise a wheat-based substitute to rice. Consequently, it was nicknamed “Ben-Gurion rice” by the people. The company took up the challenge and developed ptitim, which is made of hard wheat flour and toasted in an oven. The product was instantly a success, after which ptitim made in the shape of small, dense balls (which the company termed “couscous”) was added to the original rice-shaped ptitim.
Ptitim is made by extruding dough through a round mold, before it is cut and toasted, giving it the uniform natural-grain-like shape and its unique nutty flavor. Unlike common types of pasta and couscous, ptitim was factory-made from the outset, and therefore is rarely seen home-made from scratch. The store-bought product is easy and quick to prepare.
It is popular among Israeli children, who eat it plain, or mixed with fried onion and tomato paste. For the health conscious consumers, whole wheat and spelt flour varieties are also available.
pearl couscous salad
salad with pearl couscous, onion, cucumber, sweet pepper, tomato, parsley, mint, feta cheese and lemon
- 75 gr pearl couscous
- 20 gr red onion
- 60 gr cucumber
- 25 gr sweet pepper red
- 20 gr semi sundried tomatoes
- 100 gr cherry tomatoes
- 10 gr flat leaf parsley
- 5 gr fresh mint
- 100 gr feta cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 pinch salt
Boil the pearl couscous with a bit of salt according to the instructions on the package. Ones ready, drain and rinse with cold water
Finely chop the cucumber, sweet pepper, onion, parsley and mint. Cut the cherry tomatoes and sun dried tomatoes in quarters. Cut the feta cheese in small cubes
mix the ingredients together with the pearl couscous and season with the olive oil and lemon juice. Add pepper and salt to your own taste