Jazzed Up Couscous

This flavorful “jazzed up” couscous can be served as a vegetarian side dish, or as an entree with the addition of chicken sausage sliced into coins, or shredded chicken, lamb or pork. You can keep it vegetarian by adding crisp cubes of tofu, and make it vegan by omitting the butter and using oil. The leftovers are delicious, and can be served reheated, or at room temperature.

Jazzed Up Couscous

  • 4 scallions, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 a red pepper, diced small (should be about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins, or 5-6 dried apricots chopped up small
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley (or parsley with any combination of green herbs, such as cilantro, mint, or dill, added to yield a cup)
  • 1 lemon, cut in half for juicing

For the couscous:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil

Prepare the herbs, vegetables, and lemon first, so they’re ready to go into the couscous while it’s hot.

Bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil.

Add the couscous, stirring rapidly.

Remove from heat, and cover.

Let stand for five minutes.

Fluff with a fork, and then immediately stir in the herbs and vegetables.

Squeeze the juice from half of the lemon over the couscous and stir again.

Cover and let sit for another five minutes.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice if desired.

Yields approx. 4 cups

by Cheryl Shainmark