Please consult the OU's guidelines for checking fruits and vegetables.

Fig and Pistachio Couscous (pareve)
Fig and Pistachio Couscous (pareve) Eileen Goltz. | Pareve

Makes approx. 7 cups

Fresh Basil and Green Onions (or scallions) tend to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for instructions on checking fresh herbs for insect infestation.


1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 box (10 oz.) couscous
1 1/2 cups (about 6 oz.) Calimyrna or Mission Figs, thinly sliced
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil


Combine 2 1/4 cups water, oil and salt in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat; stir in the couscous, figs, and spices. Cover; let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with fork. Cool completely. Stir in nuts, green onions and basil. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

Fresh Basil and Insect Inspection: Fresh Basil (as well as, sage, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary and thyme) are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water. Inspection: 1. Soak the herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.) 2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs. 3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs. 4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light. 5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs. 6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded Scallions (green onion) & Insect Infestation: Description: The scallion, sometimes referred to as green onion, has a white base that develops into a bulb. Its long, straight green shoots branch forth from the bulb. Green Onions or Scallions Insect Infestation: Light green or brown thrips may occasionally be found between the green branches where they protrude from the bulb. Less frequently, they can be found crawling on the outside or inside of the long green shoots. Inspection: 1. A vertical cut should be made from the top of the scallion’s green shoot to the bottom of the bulb. Examine three scallions from each bunch, paying careful attention to the area between the branches that protrude from the bulb. 2. If no insects are found, wash thoroughly under a heavy stream of water or power hose and use. 3. If insects are found in a scallion, the entire bunch must be checked. The affected scallion must be discarded.