Considered largely a food of North African cuisines, couscous is actually
celebrated in Sicily, where they hold an annual Couscous Festival. Chef Mena
Strum of Campanello in Tel Aviv, who specializes in Italian cuisine, created
Sicilian- inspired recipes using the Israeli-made Mishpaha Hama couscous, which
has won several competitions in Sicily.
Hot couscous salad
Contrary to the way North
Africans prepare couscous dishes, Sicilians prefer to serve it with fish and
vegetables , cooked in the fresh, light Italian style. Try these recipes for a
tasty, easy summer dinner.
✔ ½ bag Mishpaha
Hama whole-grain couscous
✔ ¼ cup olive oil
✔ 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
✔ 1 hot red pepper, sliced (optional)
✔ ½ kg. cherry tomatoes, halved
✔ 300 gr.
canned Italian artichoke quarters
✔ 300 gr. chickpeas soaked overnight and
cooked (or use frozen pre-cooked ones)
✔ 2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only
cup dry white wine
✔ Salt and pepper
Prepare couscous according to directions on
Heat oil in a heavy pan and add garlic and hot pepper. Sauté
until garlic is golden but not brown, then add the tomatoes and mix lightly. Add
drained artichokes and chickpeas, oregano and white wine. Season with salt and
pepper and continue cooking on high heat about 3 minutes. Add cooked couscous
into the pan, mix and serve.Sardines wit h couscous Serves 6
inspiration for this dish came from a pasta dish served traditionally in
Sardinia called Pasta alla Sarda. Here, Strum uses couscous instead of
✔ 1 bag Mishpaha Hama couscous
✔ Olive oil
✔ 2 red peppers, cubed
✔ 3 cloves garlic, minced
✔ ¼ cup white wine
✔ ½ cup capers
✔ 1 Tbsp. parsley,
✔ About 18 fresh sardines, filleted
✔ A little flour
✔ Salt and pepper
6 individual oven-proof bowls or 1 large one
Heat oven to 180º.
couscous according to directions on the package.
Heat oil in a large pan,
then add peppers and sauté lightly. Add garlic and mix. Pour wine into the pan
and cook until it evaporates. Remove pan from the heat and transfer the
contents into a bowl. Add capers, parsley and prepared couscous and
Flour the sardines and fry lightly in oil. You may use the
same pan. Line the oven- proof bowls with sardines and fill with the couscous
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and turn each
bowl onto a plate so that the sardines end up on top of the couscous. If using
one large bowl, turn the mixture onto a large serving platter and serve in the
middle of the table.Fish couscous with saffron and anise Serves 6
1 bag Mishpaha Hama fine couscous
✔ ¼ cup olive oil
✔ 2 red onions cut into
✔ 3 fennel bulbs cut into wedges
✔ 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
✔ 1 cup
✔ 8 saffron threads
✔ 3 anise stars
✔ 5 allspice seeds
✔ Salt and
✔ 1 kg. fillets of fresh sea fish
Prepare couscous according to
directions on the package.
Heat oil in a large pot; add onions, fennel
and carrots and sauté. Add white wine and cook until it evaporates. Add water to
cover vegetables. Add saffron, anise, allspice, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil
and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Cut fish fillets into wide strips and add
to the pot. Cook for 3 more minutes.
Heap couscous on plates and spoon
the fish stew on top of the couscous.
Sweet couscous with pistachios
✔ 400 ml. freshly squeezed orange juice
✔ 2 Tbsp. sugar
bag Mishpaha Hama thick couscous
✔ 250 gr. whole white almonds
✔ 250 gr. shelled
✔ ½ kg. cherries, pitted
Heat orange juice in a saucepan, then
add sugar and cook until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Pour
the couscous into the juice mix and leave to soak up the liquids.
roast the almonds and pistachios in a dry pan over medium heat. Add to the
couscous mixture. Add the cherries, mix and serve.
Recipes and photos courtesy
of Mishpaha Hama Couscous.