Israeli Couscous With Dijon Thyme Sauce

Find my published version of this article in the Vanguard here

I’ll admit it—I’m a little bit of a homer. Since I grew up in California, I instantly love

Photo by Karl Kuchs author Heidi Swanson from San Francisco. I’ve been addicted to the recipes from her recent book, “Supernatural Everyday,” since I bought it less than a month ago.

And then, I like to claim my Oregon side as well—which explains my devotion to Bob\’s Red Mill and all of his whole-grain products. From steel-cut oats to farina, the man has not let me down with solid, reliable ingredients.

The following recipe is a middle ground between these two devotions I have—Swanson’s book has a popcorn recipe with a similar dressing, and I used the Israeli couscous from Bob’s Red Mill (also known as pearl couscous). Wherever you come from, this dish is flavorful with its tangy herb-flecked dressing and ridiculously simple to put together. And of course, it highlights the best parts of the West Coast.


  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, preferably whole wheat
  • 1/4 cup mixed herbs (I like chives, thyme and parsley)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup of spinach, torn into pieces
  • Coarse salt (like fleur de sel) and freshly ground pepper

Bring 1 1/4 cup of water to a boil. Salt the water and stir in the couscous. Let the couscous simmer covered until it’s al dente or until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small glass, whisk together the herbs, Dijon and olive oil.

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, cucumbers, cooked couscous and the dressing. Season the salad liberally with salt and pepper. Serves one to two.


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