23 May 2011

Herbed Couscous

The chives are up, and there's garlic left-over.  They make a great combination for flavoring couscous.  Thanks to a gift from a dear friend, I have a tasty little Moroccan cookbook - Moroccan: A Culinary Journey of Discovery.  The author provides a great herbed couscous recipe, which can withstand all sorts of moderation.  The best part is how simple the prep is, because you bake the couscous.  We adapted the recipe, and served the following version with another recipe inspired by the same book - Moroccan-Style (Venison) Roast with Preserved Lemons.

  • 1 3/4 C couscous
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 C warm water
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped or sliced (or chives or onions)
  • 1 bunch fresh green herbs (parsley or cilantro, or one of each)
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 T butter
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Put couscous in oven-proof baking dish (ideally one with a lid).
  • Stir in water and salt.
  • Cover and set aside for 10 minutes, to allow couscous to absorb the water.
  • Drizzle oil over couscous, toss in scallions and herbs, and dot the surface with butter.
  • Cover with piece of foil or wet wax paper (or the lid).
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for ~ 15 minutes (until heated through).
  • Garnish with remaining herbs and preserved lemon.
  • I didn't have parsley or mint on hand - silly, because they're abundant in our garden plot right now, but that's across town.  Just cilantro is tasty on it's own, though.
  • I left the lemon out, because the meat had plenty of it.  If you're using preserved lemon in the main dish, I recommend leaving it out of this dish - it has a strong (though delightful) flavor, and the mild couscous is a nice counterweight.
  • Fresh organic herbs are available in home gardens right now, or from many grocers.
  • Organic couscous from Marché Label Terre (385 Rue Soumande).
  • Check back soon for a post on how to make your own Moroccan-style salt-preserved lemons.


Anonymous said...

Recipe looks intriguing.

M said...

Et voilà donc la recette complète ! Ça semble effectivement délicieux. Je dois avouer que j'admire cette manière de rajouter toutes sortes de condiments à tes recettes ! J'ai encore beaucoup de mal de mon côté à m'en dépatouiller (je dirais que c'est culturel...).

Enfin, quand je dis que j'admire, c'est après avoir passé 15 minutes à traduire tous les termes culinaires, et en particulier les condiments, pour comprendre ce qu'il se passait ici... Quelques exemples :

• 'parsley', surtout quand tu dis que tu n'en utilises pas... C'est pas du 'parsley' sur la photo ? Bin non, c'est du 'cilantro', qui a l'air d'aller très bien avec les 'scallions' (dont j'ai même découvert le nom français « ciboule » !)....
• 'stir in', 'drizzle', baking dish'...

Je devrais m'acheter un livre de cuisine en anglais, un genre d'encyclopédie, pour le jour où nous serons en terre anglophone... En attendant, je garde cette page sous la main pour me rappeler le nom des herbes culinaires !

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