Israeli Couscous is a delicious substitute to your average pasta and rice and one of my favorites. I came across this recipe couple of weeks ago on Serious Eats and thought it will be perfect side dish to try during the week. It only takes 20 minutes to make it and goes well with any kind of grilled or braised meat, fish or poultry. All the ingredients came together just right, so I didn’t make any changes to the original recipe. Note: The feta will add a considerable amount of salt, especially if you’re using one in brine, so keep that in mind while seasoning the couscous.
Total time: 20 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)
- Pinch of dried red chile flakes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 ounces pearled (Israeli) couscous
- 2 ½ cups homemade vegetable stock or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 cups roughly chopped spinach
- 3 scallions, light green parts only, thinly sliced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shallots, the chili flakes, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes.
- Add the couscous and broth to the pan and simmer, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the grape tomatoes, spinach, scallions, half of the cheese and the lemon juice and stir to combine and lightly wilt the spinach. Adjust the seasoning as needed and then top with the remaining cheese and basil. Serve immediately.