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Couscous and Pine Nuts

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Couscous, a tiny grain-like pasta made from semolina flour, is the basis of many Middle Eastern dishes. It is very versatile and can be served as a side dish, salad, or, with meat added, as a main course. It is popular because it has no fat, no cholesterol, and takes only minutes to prepare. Pine nuts come from the cones of certain varieties of pine tree; they can be purchased in bulk or in packages. They make a unique contribution to this dish. Serve with Moroccan Meatloaf.

NotesTo toast pine nuts, place them in a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat. Stir constantly until they begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully, as they burn quickly. Transfer to a plate immediately.

Serves4

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Courseside dish, starch

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free

Mealdinner

Moodstressed, tired

Taste and Texturechewy, herby, nutty

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups chicken broth or water
  • 1½ cups couscous
  • 6 green onions, including some tender green tops, sliced
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (see Notes)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Stir in the couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand until the couscous is tender and the broth is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add the green onions, pine nuts, parsley, mint (if using), and butter. Season with the salt and pepper and fluff with a fork. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a pan over hot water until ready to serve.

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