I love couscous.  I mean, really love it. And what’s not to love? It’s pasta, it’s quick, and there are millions of things you can do to it. But you know what?

Neither of my boys will eat it.

I know! They’re nuts.

But that means that I can fill it with whatever veggies I want and use spices that they wouldn’t normally touch. This dish is pretty much just that. It has carrots, peas, and zucchini as well as saffron and cilantro. It’s amazing, ya’ll.

Saffron Couscous with Zucchini Ribbons
from Cooking Light
Ingredients
  • 4 zucchini about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion about 1 small
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot about 1 small
  • 1 14-ounce can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked couscous
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave zucchini into ribbons; set aside.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan. Add onion and carrot; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, saffron, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous and peas. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini ribbons, and sauté 1 minute or until tender. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Serve over couscous mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro.

1

I’ve been dying to try Israeli couscous since I first learned of it’s existence. I finally found some at The Fresh Market about a month ago and it’s been sitting in my pantry ever since. I had no idea what to do with it! I finally settled on a recipe I saw over on Starting from Scratch that includes pistachios and dried apricots. I probably should have thought about the fact that I hate dried apricots but her pictures were too pretty to think negative thoughts like that.

Needless to say, I didn’t like it. It wasn’t just the apricots though. I didn’t like the texture of the couscous. It was just an inbetween size that I didn’t like. It wasn’t small like regular couscous but it wasn’t big like normal pasta. The husband and the kid both gobbled this up so I’m sure a person with a normal relationship with food would love it.

Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • zest from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots chopped to the size of raisins
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
  • juice from 1/2 lime
Instructions
  1. Preheat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. Place the garlic and oil in the pan and saute for 1 minute. Add the couscous, raise the heat to medium, and stir pretty constantly for 4 to 5 minutes; the couscous should start to toast. Add the water, cinnamon stick, cumin, cardamom, pepper, salt, and lime zest. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat again to as low as possible and cover. In about 10 minutes, most of the water should have been absorbed. Add 2 T of the mint, and the apricots, pistachios, and lime juice. Stir, cover again, and cook for 5 minutes more. At this point, the water should be thoroughly absorbed. Remove the cinnamon stick, fluff the couscous with a fork, garnish with the remaining mint, and serve.

0