Friday, February 26, 2010

Cous Cous on the Loose Loose

Couscous (pronounced /ˈkʊskʊs/ or /ˈkuːskuːs/)

So many grains so little time. I grew up eating couscous. Couscous with pistachios, couscous with apricots, couscous alongside asparagus and grilled salmon. I still love this grain dearly, but have to say I prefer the nutty, protein rich quinoa over couscous, unless were talking about Israeli couscous. Im sure many people are aware that couscous has it's roots in Moroccan cooking, and feels very much at home in a tagine with roasted veggies. In Libya, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, couscous is generally served with carrots, potatoes, turnips, etc.. cooked in a spicy or mild broth or stew but, I am here to introduce you to a different type of couscous... Israeli couscous. Israeli couscous is a small, round semolina pasta that should not be confused with the tiny, yellow North African couscous. Sometimes called pearl couscous or maftoul, it resembles the pasta shape ancini pepe or as my Bubee calls them "bebbles".


We have been cooking with bebbles a lot lately! Yesterday, I got home from work early because of the 2nd monster blizzard to hit Brooklyn. We had some beets and sweet potatoes that J roasted on Tuesday, and they needed to be consumed. I had some dandelion greens in the fridge that were begging to be sauteed with garlic and oilve oil. So, with all these ingredients I weighed my options... I reached to a mason jar that contained a scant 1/2 cup of Israeli couscous and put it on the stove to cook. I cook Israeli couscous like I cook pasta, boil till tender and then drain. While the bebbles were cooking, I chopped some garlic and sauteed the dandelion greens and added the beets and sweet potatoes. Once the couscous was cooked, I added it to the veggie mix and here is what happened


My couscous turned PINK I had a feeling that would happen... These babies tend to have a tendency to make a dish blush

The following is my recipe for Bubbee's Blushing Bebbles or if you're into the whole brevity thing, COUSCOUS. The food so nice they named it twice.


1/2 cup of Israeli couscous (we get ours in bulk at Fairway)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 bunch or organic dandelion greens
1/2 cup roasted red beets
1/2 roasted sweet potatoes
Olive oil for sauteeing


In a pot, boil water as you would for pasta (about 1 1/2 cups on high heat). Add the couscous and boil till tender. While the water is heating up, chop your clove of garlic, wash and cut he dandelions greens, and heat up a skillet with enough olive oil to sautee the greens. Once the skillet is hot, add the garlic, stir until fragrant and add the greens. Sautee the greens until the wilt but retain their bright green color. At this point the couscous should be done, if it isn't be patient, twiddle your fingers, water the plants... Ok ok, add the beets and potatoes to the greens and warm them up bit using the residual heat from the greens. Once your couscous is tender, drain it. Add the couscous to the greens, beets, and sweet potatoes and mix it all together on low heat. The couscous will turn pink.


Serve immediately and enjoy!


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