Growing up in the Midwest, we simply didn’t eat a lot of grains other than white rice. No couscous salad in sight. Just meat, potatoes and lots of seasonal veggies were our main staples (along with a whole lot of Pepsi to wash it all down). So, it’s been fun over the last couple of years to explore different (healthier) grains. Couscous has become one of my favorites, but only if there is other substantive ingredients included. Luckily, couscous goes perfect with veggies, nuts, raisins and seeds—healthy foods. This spring I found a Mediterranean-style salad that featured couscous as the main ingredient, but it was spiced with curry. I don’t prefer curry, so I substituted cilantro. I also added golden raisins. This recipe also marked the first time I’d cooked with coconut milk.
I served this dish to our 4th of July company this year and we gobbled it down. In a classy sort of way. . .of course.
- 20 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups dried couscous, whole grain
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups carrots, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 14 ounces light coconut milk
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup garbanzo beans
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup cashews, chopped
- Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add couscous, remove from heat, and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add carrots, onions, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, raisins, chickpeas, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 more minutes, until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in couscous and cilantro. Cool and top with feta cheese and cashews just before serving.