Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Autumn Couscous

The early fall pantry purge is in effect at our house.  I always promise myself (and insist that others follow suit) that food items will be faithfully rotated and used.  For days after a cleaning out/up, I stand in front of the pantry and pat myself on the back.  Then it slowly starts to happen--there's no time to line up the cans of tomatoes and echos of "I didn't know we had sardines so I bought more" bounce around the kitchen.  I came across an undated container of couscous over the weekend.  Not sure how long this coarsely ground semolina pasta would last, or how long it had been lurking in the back of the pantry, the urge to get it on the table was great.

Couscous takes deliciously to what one adds to the dish.  Most of the time, I use chicken or vegetable broth as the liquid.  Both impart a layer of flavor on which to build.  The only thing autumnal about this dish is the color in the added vegetables!!

Autumn Couscous

1 cup of chicken stock (or water)
1 cup couscous
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Add the vegetable oil and the stock to a one quart pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Stir in the couscous and bring back to a bubble.  Turn off heat, cover pot and allow to sit for five minutes.
Fluff the couscous with a fork.

Prepare the vegetable mixture

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 to 10 cherry tomatoes, red and yellow if possible, halved
2 scallions, thinly sliced, including about a inch of green
1 fat garlic clove, minced
5 bottled artichoke hearts, rough chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice and zest from 1/2 lemon

1.  Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat.
2.  Add the tomatoes, scallions, garlic and artichoke hearts and saute until the tomatoes have given up some of their juices--about five minutes.
3.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
4.  Stir the vegetables, and the accumulated liquid, into the cooked couscous.
5.  Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
6.  Refrigerate for at least two hours.
7.  Bring to room temperature to serve.



  1. Sounds like a nice healthy meal! I'm trying to use up what I have too before things get stocked back up for the holidays:@)

  2. I love couscous:)

    Bonnie..a rule of thumb is smell it:)
    There is a certain rancid oild smell to couscous gone bad..
    Like rice etc..

    Funnily enough..Pasta..I have never had that happen..

    I see Israeli couscous readily availbale even on Amazon in the USA..(I know that's not in your pic..;) )here..nowhere to be found..

    I like how couscous elevates the colors of everything we add to it!

    1. I am a "sniffer" but never thought to apply that to pasta! I've never done the Israeli couscous.

  3. i did no purge. last week I ran out of olive oil, shudder shudder and thought, i have a bottle of canola, i pulled it out, never been opened, and it expired in 2010... yikes, how did that happen.... i also can tell you that spray pam goes bad after it expires... and stinks really bad..... i don't do a lo of cooking so there is a good chance of things expiring. i like he purge idea

  4. I really should purge much more often. There are so many goodies lying at the bottom of my freezer and I have every type of pasta known to man.

  5. Looks good, Bonnie. Since we leave for the summer, I now keep a list of what is in the freezer on the door and scratch off what I take out and add on what is newly added. Makes things so much easier and menu planning is more fun. I should try to figure out how to do this to my pantry....

  6. That looks delicious! Thanks for the reminder to rotate and use up the pantry stock! As well as the freezer!!!
    Your apple cake looked divine as well!!!!!
    xo Kris

  7. Gosh, this looks so pretty! I made couscous one time, and I don't think it turned out well. My son and family make it all the time. Along with Kefir and Hummus. It is hard for me to get used to something that seemed to never exist when I was growing up. Can you use it just like rice?

  8. I need to purge my pantry too. Great looking couscous Bonnie. Love the flavors of artichokes and lemons.

  9. Looks like everyone has the same pantry hoarding thing going on! Ha!

  10. It looks delicious! I've never made couscous and should try it. Earlier this year, I kind of had it with buying something when I already had 2 or 3 hidden in the pantry. Life is much much easier now that I have it organized, and not so filled with "stuff." If it will just stay that way...

  11. I love couscous this way. And I like how you described it as "taking deliciously to what one adds to the dish."

  12. This looks so good! I love to go through my cupboards and find treasures that I'd forgotten I even had. :)

  13. adding chicken stock to couscous is the only way! I love this simple and easy version that screams fall

  14. Such a beautiful bowl of couscous! Oh, Bonnie, I need you to police my pantry rotation. LOL! I found something the other day "best by" 2009!! Oh, my! Sad, but true. blessings ~ tanna

  15. I love couscous! So creamy and delicious, almost like risotto. I often stir in soem grated cheese to add more flavor.

  16. That looks delicious Bonnie! Hope you have a great weekend - our weather shouldn't be too bad!

  17. Okay, I am off to clean my very out of date pantry.



I always enjoy hearing from you, my blogging friends.