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.