Saturday, November 14, 2009

Fresh Berries, Matfool and Arugula Salad

The weather is still cool and gray here. It is one of those days when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa with a warm throw, a mug of hot tea and a good book. This type of weather is much more conducive to a nap than doing anything productive.

When it was time for lunch today I was feeling more than a little uninspired. I wish I could say I always love to cook and have ideas in my head but that is not the case. I started lunch while the hubby ran to Whole Foods to pick up more miso since we were almost out. When I looked in the refrigerator there were fresh berries staring back at me waiting to be used. I had just made a berry salad on Thursday so I wanted to make something a little different today. Opening the pantry the matfool was right in front. This is how lunch was born.

If you are unfamiliar with matfool it is a large grain couscous. It looks to me like toasted Israeli couscous. It is soaked in hot water and plumps quickly. I tend to use it in cold salads but it would also work hot. I have found matfool at both Middle Eastern and Mediterranean markets.

Arugula was used as the salad base because it is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and has the same benefits as broccoli. Walnuts were included for their healthy omega 3 fats. I used raspberry vinegar as a counterpoint to the sweetness of the berries. Miso was added to empty the container and to provide a little salty sweetness. Honestly, I couldn’t taste the miso in the final dressing. If you like the taste of miso add more to your dressing. Here is what I made for lunch today.

Fresh Berries, Matfool and Arugula Salad
Serves 2


½ cup matfool
1 cup water
1 ½ tablespoons raspberry vinegar
½ walnut oil
½ teaspoon miso
2 cups arugula, chopped into bite sized pieces
½ cup strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup raspberries
¼ cup toasted walnuts


Combine the matfool and water and heat in the microwave until hot. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes so the toasted pasta (matfool) softens. When the pasta is soft, drain the excess water and rinse with cold water to cool the pasta.

Combine the dressing ingredients (vinegar, oil and miso) and whisk to combine. Add the matfool and toss to coat it in the dressing.

Place the arugula in the bottom of a bowl. Top the greens with matfool, followed by the fresh berries and then the nuts.

Serve cold.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 434.21
Calories From Fat (45%) - 196.02

Total Fat - 23.3g
Saturated Fat - 2.2g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 68.25mg
Potassium - 399.29mg
Total Carbohydrates - 49.28g
Fiber - 7.15g
Sugar - 7.41g
Protein - 11.36g


This salad is sweet from the berries, tart from the vinegar, and bitter from the arugula. Matfool was added to the salad to absorb the dressing and provide a few additional calories.

Having the fat from the nuts in this salad made it very satisfying. Both the hubby and I were full for 5 hours after lunch.


  1. Wow, that salad looks absolutely beautiful! And it sounds so amazing; sweet, tart and bitter all-in-one. I love it:)

    p.s. I've never heard or trid Matfool before, I've learned something new today, thanks:)

  2. Oraphan,

    If you can't find matfool buy Israeli couscous and toast it a little in a dry pan before you add the water. I think that would replicate the product.

    I am big fan of fruit in green salads. My hubby used to find it an odd combination but I have made them for so long that he now loves them too.



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