California Fig and Pistachio Couscous with Fresh Basil


FigandPistachioCouscous1Here is a salad that can be served warm or cold.  Beginning with Israeli couscous, it’s  savory and sweet at the same time, matching   green onions and fresh basil  with cinnamon, allspice and sweet figs.  Add some crunchy pistachios and you have a tasty salad.  California Fig and Pistachio Couscous is the perfect side dish for a late summer supper or potluck.

Brown CouscousCook the couscous according to the directions on the package. I used Trader Joe’s Israeli Couscous, which contains 1 and 1/3 cups of couscous.   It takes a few minutes to brown the couscous in the olive oil, but this brings out the nutty flavor and creates a pretty color.  Add  1  and  3/4 cups of boiling water to the couscous, lower the heat and cover the pan.  Simmer for 12 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

PicMonkey CollageNow comes the fun part!  Chop up 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, and slice 8 of those gorgeous fresh California figs!
Couscous-Salad-IngredientsIsn’t the color palette gorgeous?  The green and purple tones of the pistachios unite with the purple/green figs.  Chop up the green onions and fresh basil. Fold the figs, pistachios, onions and basil into the hot couscous.   Add salt to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon allspice. Gently blend the spices into the salad.  Garnish with a sprig of basil.

Fig-and-Pistachio-Couscous-SaladWe enjoyed this salad at room temperature, but it can be served warm, or chilled.

Are you going to Fig Fest in San Diego on Sept. 8th?     I’ll be there!  A group of local San Diego food bloggers are helping to promote Fig Fest, which is a fund raiser for Olivewood Gardens, St. Vincent De Paul and culinary scholarships.  Come out to the San Diego Public Market and sample local wines, beers, and lots of fig food!


 Now a few fig facts:  3-4 medium fresh figs (about 1/2 cup) are only  120 calories, providing  5 grams of fiber (20% of Daily Value), 354 mg potassium (10% of Daily Value), and 53 mg calcium (6% Daily Value) according to the California Fig Advisory Board.   Figs are a fruit and are full of fiber…eat a few figs and you’ve added antioxidants to your diet as well!

Check out all the great fig recipes in the Linky below, and add some of your own!



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