The “Seven Species of Israel” are identified in the description of Israel in Deuteronomy 8:8, “a land of wheat, barley, grapevines, figs, and pomegranates; a land of oil olives and date honey.” These fruits and grains were the staple foods of biblical times, and still maintain a presence across modern Israel’s landscape. It has become a tradition to include tastes of the seven species on Tu B’Shevat, the Jewish holiday celebrating the New Year of the Trees.
Seven Species Couscous
- 2 boxes couscous with garlic and olive oil
- ⅔ cup cooked pearl barley
- ½ cup chopped figs
- ½ cup chopped dates
- ½ cup chopped raisins
- ⅔ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Kosher salt
- Prepare the couscous as directed.
- Add the barley and chopped figs, dates and raisins.
- Add the olive oil and stir gently.
- Gently toss in pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve at room temperature.