I keep a lot of my dry goods vacuum sealed in jars on a shelf in my cookbook bookcase in the kitchen. I should probably keep them in the pantry like every other cook does but my pantry is overflowing and it’s probably time we started using up all the food we already have.
Every time I walked by the bookcase yesterday I saw the jar of moghrabieh, also called pearl couscous or Lebanese couscous, it called me. The last time I used it in a salad, John wasn’t fond of it so it’s been sitting in the jar for months and time to use it or toss it out. Yes, Charlie’s photo is a bit crooked. Woops! The jar on the middle shelf is dog treats. You never know when you’ll need one in an emergency. Mostly it’s “Good come, Charlie” when he’s outside woofing at pelicans.
Tossing it out wasn’t an option because that’s just wasteful. Last month I planted some coriander (cilantro) and parsley along with a few other herbs and the pots are exploding. (need a mountain of dill, anyone?) I also found half a red onion in the fridge. I was getting somewhere.
I poured through the pantry and saw a tin of baby beetroot (beets) and wondered if you could drain them and roast them a bit to dry enough to use in a salad. Well, you can. They’re a lot softer than roasted fresh beetroot but good golly it worked.
When I was moving things around in the refrigerator (for inspiration) I saw a jar of marinated feta that I’d used some of in another dish – it was going in the salad too.
I opened the freezer and found pine nuts, sliced almonds and pepitas and tossed them in a dry skillet to toast. All I needed was a dressing but I remembered seeing the little bottle of pomegranate molasses in the pantry that I have *never* used. It was in as well, along with the last lemon in the fruit bowl and some olive oil.
Finally, and this is the last bit, I promise, I found half a container of Greek yogurt in the fridge that needed to be used or tossed in the next week or so. This is a middle eastern-ish salad so I chopped some of the mint that was taking over the pot shelf outside and some cumin and it made a lovely dollop to go on top of the salad.
Remember when I said John didn’t like moghrabieh the last time I served it to him? I sat myself down in front of the tv and turned on the lunchtime news and then thought, “That’s not a nice person, you should at least ask him, you’ll get points for that.”
I yelled up the stairs, “I’ve made a salad, want some?”
He came down, had a look and said, “No, I’ll just take a bite.”
One bite. Two bites. Three bites. Then he got up and went into the kitchen. I figured he was getting something else or going to wash his fingers. No, he came back with a packet of rice crackers and dipped this salad until there was one single piece of moghrabieh left in the bowl. He used his crackers to empty the yogurt dish too. Then, while patting his stomach, he said, “This was really good, we should have this again.”
Go figure. The salad WAS that good.
- 200 grams moghrabieh (pearl couscous/lebanese couscous)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (any kind you have)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 4 beetroot(I used tinned whole baby beetroot and it worked just fine)
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- pinch of salt
- ½ small red onion, finely sliced
- marinated feta (about a dozen cubes or as much as you like)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sliced (or slivered) almonds (reserve a teaspoon of the almonds, pine nuts and pepitas for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon toasted pepitas
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar (you can leave this out, it was too tart for me)
- ¼ cup chopped mint
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (you could use whole seeds and pound in a mortar and pestle)
- 1 cup yogurt
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F
- Scrub the beetroot, place on a baking tray and drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Cover with foil and place in the oven for an hour.
- When cooked and soft, allow to cool, peel and slice into wedges.
- Boil a pot of water and toss in moghrabieh and cook at a slow boil for 15 minutes. Drain and place on a baking tray to cool.
- Chop the coriander (cilantro) and parsley and place in a large bowl.
- Slice the onion and add to the bowl
- Add moghrabieh and toss with your fingers.
- Add beetroot and marinated feta and toss lightly.
- Drizzle with dressing and serve with mint and cumin yogurt.
- Whisk all ingredients together until the oil disappears.
- Whisk all together.
Maureen look beautiful!!
And Im gksd he enjoyed
I wznna said Im glad he enjoyed:)
Karen - 2Teaspoons says
I love the image of you moving things around in your frig for inspiration! I totally know what you mean 🙂 Also, thanks for the tip about roasting the beets. There have been times where I’ve wondering if that would work…I’m so happy to hear it did!
I’ve often wondered about beets & roasting them but I’ve never done them either…. so double thanks for that little tip. Salad sounds yummy alright, and I kind of like the bottles of stuff on the bookshelf. Looks great.
I like couscous too and yes, beet just sound and look awesome in this salad…the dressing sounds amazing Maureen. The mint and cumin yogurt give the salad a nice touch…
Hope you are enjoying your week 😀
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
The site looks beautiful, as does your kitchen! I really enjoy the Mediterranean flavors and was sold on this when I saw “marinated feta.”
One look at this and I thought it must’ve been divine. 🙂 Absolutely delicious. 🙂
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Hehe I love made up salads like this! We had one last night too. And great to know that you can roast tinned beetroot too! 😀
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
This salad looks amazing Maureen. I have some beets I need to harvest from the garden and this sounds perfect. I’ve never tried pomegranate molasses but have seen it around on other blogs. I need to find some! Yum! Have a great weekend.
If I could figure out a replacement for the beet root that didn’t involve vegetables that I don’t care for, the rest of the salad sounds very tasty. 🙂
Eva Taylor says
That does look very tasty Maureen. We really enjoy Isreali couscous over here. The addition of the marinated feta sounds delightful.
What are vacuum sealed jars?
Oh, just normal canning jars and I use my vacuum sealer to seal all the goodness in and all the bugs out. 🙂
lol!! I bet ths was good for many many helping. Bookmarked.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
I do so love beetroot and this looks sooooooooo good. I have the same trouble with JR and moghrabieh!
Tania @My Kitchen Stories says
Ha just goes to show maureen what we don’t know won;t hurt us ……it sounds and looks perfect and i am very glad you did that experiment with the beetroot. I must do that .
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
Only a good cook can use bits and pieces from the pantry/fridge and create something so tasty! This looks so delicious! I am going to try roasting tinned beetroots; such a good tip!
Your photographs are lovely too.
Thanks for sharing.
Martyna @ Wholesome Cook says
Men are funny like that sometimes, aren’t they? Matt is not a big fan of couscous or buckwheat, but he LOVES my aunt’s buckwheat cabbage rolls. Maybe because they are slathered with bacon fat, crispy bacon and mushrooms… Go figure, indeed. I think he would love this because of the other stuff in it. Well done Maureen!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
That salad looks and sounds beautiful Maureen! I have some of that pearl couscous… must make something with it… my Peter won’t eat beetroot, but that means more for me! Have a happy weekend!
Choc Chip Uru says
I don’t often eat beetroot in salads, but I can always make an exception 🙂
Haven’t heard of pearl couscous thanks for telling me about it!
Choc Chip Uru
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Wow – that looks fabulous. No wonder he enjoyed it – he’d be mad not to.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
I often cook just like this — round up all the odds and ends I have on hand, and figure out what to do with them. This looks really good. And it looks as good as a dip as a salad! So you get credit for two recipes here. 😉
Yum this looks so good! I love it when you use up ingredients in the kitchen that well..need to be used up and it turns out to be a keeper of a recipe!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I love pearl couscous, this salad would make a perfect lunch!
What a pretty salad. Have been reading a lot lately how good beet root is for you. Now I have a good recipe to try it. 🙂
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day and well done Maureen! Great recipe!
Love pearl couscous and how versatile it can be!
Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness says
This looks like a yummy salad. I loved the story you told about John. Sounds like something my hubby would do.
I wish I liked/ate beetroot but the rest of the salad sounds tasty.
What a genius idea to roast the tinned beetroot! There’s something so satisfying about creating a salad from ‘nothing’ isn’t there?
Bam's Kitchen says
Men are so unpredictable and those other times severely predictable, if you know what I mean. I am glad he came around and gave it a try as I know with your ingredient listed and your photos I would be in love with this special salad. I just love your pottery bowl! Gorgeous. Take Care, BAM
Tasty salad, a very satisfying combo!
Shashi @ runninsrilankan says
Ha – it’s funny how our tastes can change eh? I know the first time I had moghrabieh, I wasn’t crazy about it – then fast forward a few months and I love it – the first time I had it was in a warm savory dish and last week I had it in a cool salad -made all the difference for me! I love your dressing with pomegranate molasses – love the combo of pepitas, pine nuts, marinated feta and beets – awesome salad Maureen!!
I didn’t like moghrabieh the first time either. It was how I’d used it and to be honest, we thought it was slimy. 🙂
Mrs Mulberry says
Roasting tinned beetroot, what a great idea!! Thanks for sharing Maureen, this salad looks beautiful!
I love all the ingredients you added to this salad! Sounds divine! Looks fabulous!
Hotly Spiced says
My pantry is exploding too yet there never seems to be anything in there I need. I’m envious of your flourishing herbs. I have such a problem with possums here that all I’m doing is feeding the marsupials. I love the look of your salad and the dressing sounds amazing. I love how this has been created without a drive to the shops xx
InTolerant Chef says
Great flavours Maureen! I hate waste too, and it’s always a nice feeling to use up all those bits and pieces sitting in the fridge 🙂
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
I love it when dishes come together like that and they please the fussy eaters as well 😉 I have to hide things then secretly reuse them with my fella all the time and usually second time around without knowing it he loves it. This salad looks fab I love beetroots so much I could happily indulge in a big bowl of this.
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Love that you store the grains and seeds on a bookcase! The display looks so fancy 🙂
I love a delicious beet root salad and this one looks right up my alley. All the ingredients in here look to combine to make a filling and nutritious lunch. YUM!!!
Mary Frances says
Maureen I adore this salad, the colors are so beautiful! What a gorgeous dish!!
this looks so good, must try my hubby would love it
Dear Maureen, I know what you mean about using up food in the pantry that should be used. I am trying to do that myself. The truth is sometimes I simply don’t feel like cooking some of the things I have. lol
I will get to it though because I don’t like to waste either.
The salad sound delish and healthy too. Blessings dear. Catherine
Never had pearl couscous before, that salad sure looks amazing!!
Sandra Shaffer says
Your salad looks super delicious! No wonder those bites turned into cleaning the bowl! I like the way you store your grains! If I had more room, I would do the same. It looks stylish!! Functional too 🙂
Bill will eat Israeli couscous but not beets! So I know this whole salad would be for me…but I wouldn’t mind that one bit! It looks wonderful.
Jill Colonna says
Maureen, this does look delicious and especially as you’re using everything up. Everyone teases me in the family for saying this but it’s true – and it tastes even better when you’ve rustled up a meal with it all! As long as nobody mistakes your dog morsels in the middle of that lovely shelf for salad material, lol! Time I added pearl couscous to my larder collection – it’s a refreshing change!
I so love the jars among your books! I may just have to steal this idea. I think it gives such a unique and complimentary look to the cookbooks! I will be searching out plenty of meals like this when I get home. Sounds healthy and good!
At first I thought it looked dumb and the longer I have them there the more I like them. 🙂
Kate @ Babaganosh.org says
This is beautiful! I love beets. And I love pearl couscous. And the crunch from the almonds, pine nuts, and pepitas must be awesome.
I wish my pantry closet was more open so I could see everything at a glance. I literally have to take everything out and clean it every few months to get the older stuff to move forward and use things up. It’s packed to the seams with stuff…. I am a bit of a compulsive food (sale) shopper. I have never seen this kind of couscous before… the salad looks amazing and healthy…. just had me a fork 🙂
Oh you gotta love them, don’t you. When I can, I don’t tell Bobby what I’m serving him that way he doesn’t pooh pooh an ingredient he “thinks” he doesn’t like. 🙂 It’s funny because the first time I made pearl couscous, Bobby said there was no reason to ever eat the other kind of couscous again. We both fell in love with it so I’m excited about making this salad! Love the addition of the nuts and seeds!
Hypnotherapy Adelaide says
I think pearl barley is underrated. I have made some delicious desserts with it. There are lots of nice asian soups with it too.