I figured this would be a good follow-up to my roasted tomato recipe earlier this week. Here’s another great use for them. But if you’re not making those, you can totally use store bought sun dried tomatoes. I do it all the time.
I’ve made this couscous on several occasions. It’s tends to shock people with how flavorful it is. (Like it shouldn’t be because it’s couscous or something?) I guess it’s kinda true though, when you think of couscous, you think it’s something only boring vegetarians eat (hee hee). Not this one though.
I’ve been told by tough critics that this is the best couscous they’ve ever tasted. It’s one of those things everyone seems to like a lot so it’s great for potlucks and holidays too.
The fresh herbs (sage and oregano) and shallots make it so aromatic and the toasted pine nuts are a nice textural element and surprise. If you’re allergic to nuts or they’re just not your thing feta cheese crumbles make a great alternative.
Saute your herbs, tomatoes, shallots & red onion, garlic and spices until the shallots and red onion are nice and soft.
Meanwhile, get your water boiling to prepare the couscous. Couscous, which is produced from cracked durum wheat that has been steamed and allowed to dry, is highly absorbent so it’s one of the easiest and quickest grains to cook.
It requires about 1 ¼ cup of water to 1 cup of grain. Once the water boils, you add a tablespoon of olive oil and the couscous. Then you have to remove it from the burner and cover it right away or it’ll actually dry out. Then you just fluff it with a fork and you’re done. After fluffing your couscous, add the herb and tomato mix, a small handful of uncooked herbs, a drizzle of olive oil and toss it all up really, really well.
To toast the pine nuts, just cover the bottom of a pan with them (no oil is required). Cook on medium low heat (no higher!) and keep tossing them around until they’re browned on both sides. Don’t take your eyes off them too long or they’ll burn…and that sucks.
Sprinkle those suckers over top before serving!
RecipeCook + Prep time: 35 mins. Serves 4 Tree nut allergies use feta cheese as a great alternative to pine nuts.
- About 10-12 sun dried or roasted tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Handful of fresh sage and oregano
- Black Pepper
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1/4 red onion
- 2 shallots
- 1 1/2 cups dry couscous
- 1/4 cup pine nuts (feta crumbles as sub.)
- Dice up herbs, tomatoes, shallots, red onion and garlic (set a small amount of fresh herbs aside for later). Saute it all on medium heat in about 4 tablespoons of olive oil until onions are tender. Add a teaspoon of salt and some cracked black pepper. Keep partially covered for about half the time so all the juice doesn’t evaporate.
- Prepare couscous: you’ll need 1 ½ cup dry couscous per 2 cups of water. When water boils, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ½ a teaspoon of salt and the grain. Remove pot from burner right away. Keep covered for 5 minutes. Fluff when fully absorbed. If you use a box, just follow those directions.
- Toast pine nuts: cover the bottom of a pan evenly with pine nuts (no oil is required). Cook on medium low heat (no higher!) and keep tossing them around until they’re browned on both sides. Don’t take your eyes off them too long or they’ll burn…and that sucks.
- Add herb and tomato mix to the couscous. Crack a little extra pepper and hit it with another dash of salt and/or olive oil if you like. Toss REALLY well to remove all clumps. Top with pine nuts or feta cheese and the fresh herbs you set aside in the beginning. Toss again and serve.