Couscous, an International Food

Couscous is actually a type of semolina that needs no cooking. I believe its origins are Northern Africa, but it is now used quite widely here in the US.  It needs no actual cooking, which is great for last minutes meals.

I purchased whole wheat couscous from Trader Joe’s and used it for a salad at my International Women’s Day Luncheon on Tuesday. I did not use summer veggies, such as tomatoes and cucumbers, which was on the recipe, but rather winter veggies: carrots & radishes.

The proportions for water to couscous varied when I looked up this ingredient. I believe the Trader Joe recipe was 1 cup couscous to 2 1/4 cups water.*  However, if you use regular (white) couscous the proportions may vary, so check the recipe on the box or brand you purchase. Also, I used soup stock in place of water, which makes the couscous more flavorful. Then you can eliminate the salt & pepper, if you like. *I found my Trader Joe recipe for whole wheat couscous and it calls for 1/2 cup boiling water with 1 1/4 cups dry couscous, so for one cup you would need 2 1/2 cups water.

Utensils: Pot for couscous, cutting board and knife, serving bowl
Prep. Time: About 10 minutes
Cooking Time: About 5 minutes
Category: Vegan, sugar free

Ingredients (You can use any veggies in season that you like)

one cup (dry) whole wheat couscous
2 1/4 cups water or stock (Check your box for that brand’s proportions)
one grated carrot
2-3 grated red or purple radishes
2-3 minced scallions minced scallions (white & a little green)
parsley (1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 dried)
1-2 Tbl. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
Sprouts (optional)

1. Bring water or stock to a boil. Add couscous and cover for five minutes to allow grains to absorb liquid. Fluff with a fork.
2. While the water is boiling, grate the carrot and radishes and slice the scallions. Stop to add couscous to boiling water and while the couscous is “setting” for 5 minutes, finish the veggies.
3. Toss veggies with couscous in a the pot with the couscous. (If not large enough,transfer to a large bowl.) Add parsley, salt & pepper and olive oil. Toss until all ingredients are mixed in.
4. Place on a platter surrounded by sprouts (or a bed of lettuce).
Serve warm or chilled.

P.S. Thanx to Penny, my stepdaughter, for the photo.

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