What is your favorite recipe using couscous? Do you make a pilaf? Put it under stew? I admit that my experience has been only with the salty Near East versions in the box. I decided to buy a bag of plain cous cous yesterday. Just wondering what to do with it now and also what to have with it.
this is a fabulous recipe:
Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad With Harissa-style Dressing
For the roasted vegetables
1 small eggplant
2 medium zucchini
1 lb cherry tomatoes, skinned
1 small red pepper, de-seeded and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm)
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
1 large onion, sliced and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm)
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn so that they stay quite visible
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces pitted black olives, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the couscous
10 ounces medium couscous
18 fluid ounces vegetable stock
4 ounces firm goat cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
3 ounces mixed salad greens or baby greens
For the dressing
4 fluid ounces extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato puree
4 tablespoons lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 tablespoon black onion seeds
First prepare the roasted vegetables: prepare the eggplant and zucchini ahead of time by cutting them into 1 inch (2.5 cm) dice, leaving the skins on. Then toss the dice in a level teaspoon of salt and pack them into a colander with a plate on top and a heavy weight on top of the plate. Leave them on one side for an hour so that some of the bitter juices drain out. After that, squeeze out any juices left, and dry the dice thoroughly in a clean cloth. Preheat the oven to gas mark 9, 475°F (240°C).
Now arrange the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, pepper, fennel and onion in the roasting pan or sheet pan, sprinkle with the crushed garlic, basil and olive oil, toss everything around in the oil to get a good coating and season with salt and pepper. Place the pan on the highest shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are toasted brown at the edges.
When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and stir in the chopped olives and the capers then remove them to a plate to cool.
When you're ready to assemble the salad, first place the couscous in a large, heatproof bowl, then pour the boiling stock over it, add some salt and pepper, stir it with a fork, then leave on one side for 5 minutes, by which time it will have absorbed all the stock and softened.
Meanwhile cut the cheese into sugar cube-sized pieces. Make up the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour into a serving container. To serve the salad, place the couscous in a large, wide salad bowl and gently fork in the cubes of cheese along with the roasted vegetables. Next arrange the salad leaves on top and, just before serving, drizzle a little of the dressing over the top followed by a sprinkling of onion seeds and pass the rest of the dressing around separately.
I always keep a box or two of cous cous around (I love the Trader Joe's whole wheat kind). It's handy to have for a quick starch on the side of almost anything, I definitely use it under Morrocan-style stews (even a "fake" one). But I'll also toss cooked chicken/pork.beef with leftover cous cous, toss in some raisins and nuts (almonds or cashews are great), some frozen peas, and sprinkle on some spices -- heat it up and it's a great dish. I usually end up doing this with leftovers (whatever I have on hand) -- but it would be a good "new" dish too. But cous cous is great just as a subsitute for rice on a plate -- add some butter if you don't have a sauce or gravy to go over it.
oh, and another idea--dried or fresh currants with toasted pine nuts. YUM! More traditional use of couscous for sure, and fabulous.