If you were a Moroccan housewife planning a family meal, in all likelihood it would include couscous. This inexpensive yet highly nutritious food, often thought to be a grain, is actually made from wheat. Rich with religious and symbolic meanings, the making of it traditionally is a female activity during which prayers are said invoking blessings and prosperity.
It is a very time consuming, labor-intensive task involving much hand labor: sifting, rolling, and re-rolling again and again until granules of similar sizes appear. Then it is sun dried and stored until its time of cooking. Fortunately most of us can simply purchase it at any grocery store in its ready-to-cook form at any time and its popularity rapidly continues to increase in the food world.
As in many other countries it is served differently from one area to another. My favorite way is simply hot with a little oil or butter and onion salt. However guests who had it at last weekend’s dinner theatre with many added seasonings and various vegetables and herbs as we are showing it today said it was the best ever!
CHANGE SERVING SIZEservings
- 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice fresh
- 2 large cloves garlic minced, divided
- 1/2 tsp lemon peel finely grated
- 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous (6-7 ounces)
- 1 3/4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
- 2 cups zucchini
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion chopped
- 1/2 cup mango(s) chopped
- 1/3 cup chives fresh, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese finely grated
- Prepare the dressing by whisking 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and lemon peel in small bowl and put aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until most of couscous is godlen brown, about 5 minutes. Add broth, incease heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender (about 10 minutes). If couscous is not fully cooked and seems dry, add more broth by tablespoonfuls until couscous has cooked all the way through.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add remaining garlic, onion, bell pepper, and zucchini and sauté until tender (about 3 minutes).
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer vegetables to large bowl and add chopped mango.
- Add couscous to bowl with vegetables and mango. Drizzle with dressing and toss with chives and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.