Couscous is a global dish enjoyed throughout the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. It's easy to see why. The small granules of semolina flour are modest in flavor and easily consort with an array of foods and flavors. Though we often see it as an uncomplicated side dish served with a soup or stew, it can slip easily into a main course with the addition of crisp roasted vegetables, fresh herbs and full-flavored cheese. Our version combines perfumed, sticky, jewel-colored dried apricots with buttery, crunchy pine nuts (click here for a note about pine nuts from David Lebovitz).
We originally tested this recipe while playing around with some preserved lemons, however the recipe below includes lemon zest, which is an ideal substitute. Now that barbeque season is on the horizon, we plan on serving this couscous with our Lemon Chicken Skewers.
2 cups couscous
2 cups water (or according to package directions)
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup spring onions or green onions, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon lemon zest or finely chopped preserved lemons
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1. Add the couscous to a serving dish that has a cover or lid. In a saucepan bring water to a simmer and pour over the couscous. Cover and let sit until all of the liquid as evaporated, about 5 minutes.
2. In a small sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions. Sauté for 1 minute and season with salt and pepper.
3. Stir the onions, pine nuts, apricots, lemon zest (or preserved lemons) and parsley into the couscous and serve.
Serves 6 as a side dish
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Total Time: 15 min