Intro: Israeli Couscous With Mango and Cucumber
I love this salad. I've enjoyed mango salsa with fish and chicken, pitas and tortilla chips, pairing it with Israeli (pearl) couscous for a stand alone salad makes a wonderful side dish, a good lunch meal, or a satisfying snack, morning or night.
When a mango is ripe (just gentle to the touch), I find the taste incredible; juicy and sweet, great for pairing with some crunchy cucumbers and "bouncy" Israeli couscous. Some honey to bring out the sweetness, cilantro and lime to brighten all the flavors. This well-balanced salad is great on its own, or served alongside grilled or sauteed fish, chicken, or pork. I prefer using whole wheat Israeli couscous for its nutritional value, but I've also made this with quinoa, and believe it'd be tasty with other whole grains.
Since it is essentially mango salsa mixed with couscous, if you enjoy spicy foods, adding a jalapeno would create a dish with sweet heat.
I hope you'll enjoy this delicious salad soon!
Recipe slightly adapted from Relish Magazine, June 2013.
Step 1: Gather and Prepare Ingredients
2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (If you want to keep this vegetarian, use vegetable broth, or water.)
1 (6.3-ounce box) Israeli couscous (I used 8 oz. whole wheat Israeli couscous)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped mango (I find a melon knife makes cutting a mango much easier.)
2 cups chopped English cucumber, unpeeled (I peel and seed my cucumbers, if neither bother you, keep them on/in.)
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 lime (I used 2 small limes.)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Step 2: Prepare Israeli Couscous
Bring broth to boil in a medium-sized saucepan, stir in couscous, cover, lower heat to medium-low, and cook until liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente, about 10-14 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon olive oil to prevent grains from sticking. Let cool.
Step 3: Assemble Salad and Enjoy
Put mango, cucumber, and cilantro in a large bowl, add Israeli couscous and stir to combine.
In a small bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over couscous; mix well, taste, and adjust for seasoning.
This salad is excellent at room temperature and can be served chilled as well. Store, in a covered container, in the refrigerator up to 2 days.