Friday, September 4, 2009

Toasted Pine Nut Couscous

Toasted Pine Nut Cous Cous   I’ve been on a major sugar rush for way too long. Between cheesecakes and midnight snacks, I haven’t had the time to make healthier meals. I suppose cheesecake doesn’t count as a good lunch.

Raw Pine Nuts

Couscous has to be one of the easiest dishes out there. Once the water reaches boiling, you add the couscous, cover the pot with a lid, shut off the heat, and in 5 minutes it’s ready to serve. Talk about easy. Couscous is basically small granules of semolina wheat that soak up all the great liquid you add to your pot. That’s why recommend broth as opposed to water, for some extra flavor.

I saw some pine nuts at the store and decided to buy them for my parrot, but my recipe testing ideas won out (although she did get some leftovers.) Pine nuts have a great flavor, with just a slight zing of pine. Most pine nuts come from the cones of the stone pine, and the ones in the grocery store are luckily, already shelled. They can be used in savory dishes like couscous, but are also great in cookies, breads, etc.

Toasted Pine NutsI first toasted the pine nuts until they got some nice color and set them aside. They offer a nice texture to the couscous along with the sun-dried tomatoes.

You can usually find sun-dried tomatoes in the produce section but I always end up looking real hard just to find them. It’s rare they’ll be on a top shelf for all to see.

In this recipe I added an additional 1/4 cup water/broth, because the couscous soaked up the liquid until it was a little too dry. Couscous shouldn’t be runny or dry, but should have some good moistness.

Toasted Pine Nut Couscous

Printable Version

1/4  cup  pine nuts

2 1/2  cups  reduced-sodium chicken broth or water

1/2  cup  small, chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)

1  clove garlic, minced

1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin

1 2/3  cups  (10 oz.) couscous

2  tablespoons  minced parsley



1. In a 2 to 3 quart pan over medium-high heat, stir pine nuts until golden, about 2 minutes; remove from pan.

2. In the same pan, bring the broth, tomatoes, garlic, and cumin to a boil over high heat. Stir in the couscous, cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts and parsley, and fluff with a fork. If desired, season to taste with salt.

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