Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yo couscous! Have you gotten bigger?

Oh yeah. Now you can see how cute the pearl couscous is. 
First I'm sorry I've been ever so neglectful of my blog. Traveling, illness, general holiday distraction has kept me mighty busy, but I'm back with a bunch of delicious recipes. Or at least will do my very best :)
Simple. I am such a fan of simple food. Simple meals, simple prep work, simple ways of preparing food that leave nothing but clean strong flavors on your tongue. Which explains why I've roasted vegetables at least once a week for the past 6 months or so. I am a roasting machine! Recently at the grocery store I saw this large couscous, and thought, well aren't those cute. I'll readily admit many of my food choices often come down how adorable they are. I mean if a system works....

Turns out pearl couscous is fairly good for you, just another simple grain, click on the link to read all about it. I read several recipes and discovered that toasting this larger couscous before cooking it really helped develop the flavor.

This dish is easy, quick, and FULL of flavor. The large couscous has a delightful texture that slides right down your gullet. This meal is perfect for those who want a lot of flavor, but don't have a ton of time. I'm not sure if the larger couscous is hard to find, though you may need to check a whole foods if your regular grocery store doesn't have it. This meal will definitely become a staple at my house, it only takes about 40 minutes, so try it out!

Israeli CousCous with red carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash

I have a fabulous greek vinegrette I buy at our farmers market that makes a great marinade for roasted vegetables. You can also just coat the vegetables in olive oil with a fresh herb such as rosemary or thyme. 
The Goods: Serves 4-6
2 cups Israeli (aka pearl) couscous
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
3-4 large red carrots, chopped
5-6 parsnips, chopped
2 tablespoons greek vinaigrette
1 tablespoon olive oil

The Deal: 
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place parsnips, butternut squash and carrots in a large bowl with the greek dressing. Using your hands evenly coat all the vegetables and spread out on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, removing from the oven at least twice to toss the vegetables to ensure even browning.

2. While the vegetables are cooking heat your olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add couscous and saute until aromatic and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Watch closely, the couscous will burn easily. Once the couscous is lightly toasted add your broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes.

3. Serve with roasted vegetables on the top and couscous on the bottom.

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