Easy Cranberry and Pine Nut Couscous
From Joy of Kosher by Jamie Geller
Kosher Status: Pareve
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
I’m crazy for any dish that can be cooked and prep in under ten minutes flat. You can make this with rice if you like but I feel lighter after eating couscous. And anything that makes me feel lighter (or thinner) wins the prize.
Try this out and you’ll see that pine nuts and couscous are natural partners. Like Fred and Ginger, Anthony and Cleopatra, Hubby and me, Shrek and Fiona.
1 1/3 cups instant whole wheat couscous
2/3 cup pine nuts (4 ounces)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus more zest for garnish
1/4 cup teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Prepare the couscous according to the package directions. Transfer it to a large bowl. Add the pine nuts, cranberries, parsley, oil, lemon zest and juice, cumin, and salt and stir to mix well. Serve warm or at room temperature, garnished with parsley and lemon zest.
If you love pine nuts, double up—and to bring out their nutty flavor, lightly toast them on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Dress It Up
Cranberry Couscous Acorn Squash Bowls
Serve this side dish warm in a baked acorn squash bowl. Cut 5 small acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Bake, cut side down, in a large baking dish or baking sheet with 1/2 inch water at 400 degrees until tender when pierced with a fork, about 50 minutes. Fill each squash half with about 1/2 cup of the couscous. Top each with 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, return to the baking dish (filled side facing up), and bake until lightly browned: 20 to 25 minutes.
Cranberry Couscous Eggplant Boats
Stuffed eggplants with the couscous. Cut 10 small Italian eggplants in half length-wise, brush the cup side with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Roast on a baking sheet, cut side up, at 400 degrees until the centers are soft and the tops are golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, gently scrap out the flesh, being careful not to cut the skins. Reserve the skins; combine the flesh with the couscous. Taste the stuffing and season with salt if needed. Stuff each skin with 1/4 cup of couscous mixture and garnish with more lemon zest and parsley. Keep the remaining couscous in your fridge to sprinkle on a salad or as a healthful snack.
Pair It: Ramon Cordova Rioja
The sweet cranberries and hearty pine nuts call for a fun and fruity wine.