Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots

I would like to take a moment to tell you about one of the best cookbooks I have ever picked up.  Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero is PHENOMENAL.  Seriously.  I’m not vegan…I’m not even vegetarian, but the amazing recipes keep me coming back for more, even with nary an animal product in sight.  If you have any interest at all in eating a healthy diet, you should seriously consider taking a look at this book!  The recipes are creative and flavorful, and use lots of great ingredients you might otherwise not cook with.

Okay, I’ve put away my soapbox.
This recipe was my first introduction to Middle Eastern Couscous, which is a big version of the couscous you are probably used to.  I like it so much I don’t know if I’ll go back to the small stuff!
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Israeli (or Middle Eastern – the package might say either one) couscous
2 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup pistachios
juice from 1/2 lime
Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. 
Place the garlic and oil in the pan and saute for 1 minute
Add the couscous, raise the heat to medium, and stir pretty constantly for 4-5 minutes; the couscous should start to toast.
Add the water, cinnamon stick, cumin, cardamom, pepper, salt, and lime zest.
Raise the heat and bring to a boil.
Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat again to as low as possible and cover.
In 10 minutes, most of the water should have been absorbed.
Add 2 tbsp of the mint, and the apricots, pistachios, and lime juice.  
Stir, cover again, and cook for 5 more minutes.
At this point, the water should be thoroughly absorbed.
Remove the cinnamon stick, fluff the couscous with a fork, garnish with the remaining mint, and serve.
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