Monday, March 26, 2012

Toasted lemon pinenut couscous

Israeli couscous is one of my favorite forms of pasta. The other is that stuff for mac and cheese.  Every year for the grains section, I teach the kids how to make homemade pasta and we make something with Israeli couscous as well as some other grains they aren't as familiar with as boxed, dried pasta. When ProStart competition time or their final meal assignment comes around (when they can make what they want), a lot of them go back to the couscous for their grain because they like it and it's something a little different. When you make couscous with chicken stock instead of water, you add so much flavor (just like preparing rice the same way). Combined with toasted pinenuts and lemon, this is a great refreshing side that pairs well with a spicy meat or a sauce that can also be used with the couscous. Add in some sauteed veggies and I could definitely make a meal out of this, hot or cold. This went well with their ribeye with orange cider glaze and broccoli with pecan butter.

Toasted lemon pinenut couscous

1 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup Israeli couscous (the big kind)
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

 Heat oil to medium heat in a small saut√© pan. Toast pinenuts in oil for about four minutes, until golden brown.

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a small saucepan.  Stir in couscous and lemon rind.
Remove from heat; cover and let stand for five minutes.
Fluff with fork, then add toasted pinenuts.

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