Creative Couscous

by Lynn

Two hours until dinner time my mother changes her mind and asks if I could prepare Father’s day dinner.  Of course, I hurried my way over to the local market to buy a few items.  The vegetarian dinner included: tomato-squash pasta, sautéed red-bell pepper and mushroom, fresh cucumber avocado salad, and a mixed couscous dish.

While couscous is supposed very easy to make, tonight was (obviously) my first time making it, and I was a bit nervous.  I had purchased couscous from Argancia and all of the vegetables from a local supermarket.  I found a basic Lemon Couscous recipe from Food.com, but I’ve never been good at following them.  I needed the water amount and cooking instructions.  This is my version of the recipe for a “Fresh Lime Couscous Salad”.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes

Serving size: 4 people

Ingredients:

½ red bell pepper diced
1 small cucumber diced
1 red vine tomato diced
Chopped fresh parsley and cilantro (recommended 4-5 stalks of each)
1 cup of couscous
1 ¼ cup of water
½ cup of fresh squeezed lime juice (used 1 ½-2 limes)
1 teaspoon of olive oil
Salt to taste

Optional: touch of chicken broth powder

Ingredients

Preparation:

Cut the following to preferred or recommended size: red bell pepper, cucumber, tomato, parsley, and cilantro.  Squeeze limes for their juices.

In at least a 2-quart size pot, heat water, ½ lime juice, and olive oil to boil.  Pour in couscous, turn off heat.  Stir for 30 seconds, remove from heat.  Pour in remaining lime juice, salt to taste (and chicken broth powder if desired).  Mix for 20 seconds.  Cover with lid, sit for 2 minutes.  Stir in red bell pepper, cucumber, and tomato.  Recover, sit for an additional 2 minutes.  Fluff to serve.

From researching other recipes, I put in the vegetables a bit earlier.  Most people say to let the couscous sit with the lid on for 4-5 minutes, fluff, and then stir in vegetables.  I didn’t want my vegetables to be cold, so that’s why I tried putting it in earlier.  My vegetables weren’t cooked, and the couscous was still thoroughly cooked.  However, if you prefer extremely fluffed couscous, you should follow the more traditional approach to making couscous.  Also, I’m a big fan of sour (thus, the additional ¼ lime juice), so this might be a tad more limey than the average person would enjoy.

Apologies for no finale picture; I was 25 minutes past the set dinnertime because of the other dishes, and we were eager to eat!  Happy Father’s Day!

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