The Flaming Vegan

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 Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts and Parsley
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Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts and Parsley

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Israeli couscous – also known as pearl couscous- is toasted round pasta made from wheat flour and semolina.  It is usually larger that typical couscous varieties. Although it looks like a grain, it’s actually pasta (you can also find whole-grain).

This is a fast and easy recipe that you will love. Serve as a side with grilled veggie kebabs. You can buy your couscous from the bulk bins at the grocery store; like all grains, it’s really cheap.


         3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

         1 ½ cups Israeli couscous

         ½ cup toasted pine nuts * (see tips below)

         2/3 cup finely chopped green onions

         1 tablespoon minced garlic

         zest of ½ lemon

         ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

         2 fresh or dried bay leaves

         2 cups vegetable broth

         1 teaspoon salt

         1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley*


1.   Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté green onions and garlic over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add couscous, cinnamon and bay leaves and stir until couscous browns slightly, stirring often, about 4-5 minutes.

2.   Add broth, water and salt and bring to boil.

3.   Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until couscous is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.

4.   Remove the pan from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes.

5.   Remove bay leaves.  

6.   Stir in parsley, pine nuts and lemon zest.

7.   Transfer to serving dish.

8.   Fluff it gently with a fork by breaking up the clumps for light and fluffy couscous.

9.   Serve warm.


*Be careful not to burn the pine nuts.  I usually toast them in a saucepan on top of the stove, but you can certainly do them in the oven - it just takes much longer.  Heat a pan over medium heat for a couple minutes and add 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil and the pine nuts. Sprinkle with a dash of salt. Allow the pine nuts to toast for 30 – 45 seconds, and then toss them. Repeat this process until they start turning brown, then remove from heat and let them cool.


* You can substitute parsley with cilantro or mint if you want to brighten it up and give it more freshness.


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