Almost every night, Mr. Moo has been requesting couscous for dinner. I think he likes saying the word couscous over and over again more than the actual dish. Especially, when I overhear him chattering to his toy car, “No, blue car, couscous stop. Couscous go.” Oh, to know what goes on in his wee little brain. But, I imagine a world filled with couscous stop lights and noodle roads. I would love to live on Mr. Moo’s planet.
Well, who am I to deny such a wonderfully imaginative little man? But, I am getting a bit sick of plain couscous. Fortunately, I have the Cook’s Encyclopedia of Vegetarian Cooking which has a perfectly easy recipe that jazzes up my son’s new favorite carb.
- 3 T olive oil
- 5 scallions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 t ground cumin
- 1½ C vegetable stock
- 1 C couscous
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- ¼ C chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ C chopped fresh mint
- 1 fresh green chile, seeded and finely chopped (I used jalapeno.)
- 2 T lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Toasted pine nuts and grated lemon zest, to garnish (I’m usually opposed to the for garnish, but the pine nuts pretty much make this recipe.)
- Crisp lettuce, to serve (I used a few Romaine leaves.)
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the scallions and garlic. Stir in the cumin and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the couscous, cover the pan and let it stand for 10 minutes, until the couscous has swelled and all the liquid has been absorbed. If you are using instant couscous, follow the package instructions. (I’m a package instructions kind of gal.)
Scrape the couscous into a bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, parsley, mint, chile, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. If possible, set aside for up to an hour, to allow the flavors to develop fully.
To serve, line a bowl with lettuce leaves and spoon the couscous salad over the top. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and grated lemon rind over the top, to garnish.
Like I said, super duper on the easy factor. Add a bit of extra veggies or some chicken to make it into a meal. My suggestion is to make a double batch if your child will only eat couscous for dinner.