Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts and Broccoli
Israeli couscous is really tiny pasta balls but it may be easier if you think of it as a grain. To cook this couscous you sauté it first in a bit of olive oil until golden and then add hot liquid (proportion is about 1 couscous to 1.5 water), cover and cook until tender. You can add vegetables to the couscous as it cooks although I tend to cook it by itself and add it to other ingredients once it is cooked. Couscous makes a nice lunch, combined with vegetables and nuts, or a great side or main vegetarian dish. Today I cooked it and added pine nuts and then sautéed broccoli. I do the same with mushrooms and other vegetables. If you haven’t tried it before and love pasta, grains and starchy foods, you would like this. Couscous can be easily reheated as well.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cups boiling water
salt and pepper
1/3 cup pine nuts
A bit of olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets, small
1 garlic clove
A few hot pepper flakes
Heat up the oil in a large skillet. Add couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until it turns nice golden brown. Once it starts to brown you need to watch it carefully as it can go from golden to burnt rather quickly. When it looks nice and golden add the boiling (or hot) water, being very careful as it steams up quite a bit. Add salt and pepper, stir, cover with a lid and let cook until all water is absorbed and grains are cooked through but not mushy. Sometimes you need to add just a bit more water. Taste the grains, if they are not cooked through and the water has evaporated then add a bit more, cover and finish the cooking.
Place pinenuts in a small skillet, drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil and cook over medium heat until just golden. Remove from heat and transfer to another plate so they don’t continue to cook in the heat of the skillet.
When couscous is ready remove from heat and place in a bowl, breaking up the clumped grains with a wooden spoon.
To the same skillet add a drizzle of olive oil and the garlic. Cook for a minute until garlic is fragrant. Add broccoli and hot pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until broccoli is cooked through but still a little crunchy. Remove from heat as soon as it is done.
Combine couscous with pine nuts and broccoli, toss in a bit of chopped parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.