Couscous with Vegetables

This meal was born out of a need to use what I had lying around my fridge and pantry. I pulled together the ingredients I intuitively thought might compliment each other well, and ended up with a dish that was satisfyingly warm, hardy, and fragrant.

Ingredients: (serves 1-2)

  • butter (~2 knobs if not more)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (peeled, crushed whole)
  • 1/3 cup carrot (medium to large dice)
  • 2/3 cup butternut squash cubes (medium to large dice)
  • 1/3 cup couscous (Israeli Ptitim or Lebanese Moghrabieh)
  • 2 Tbs yellow pepper (small dice)
  • 1 handful scallions (chopped)
  • paprika (a hefty dash)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • cayenne pepper (a dash or more)
  • black pepper (I like quite a lot)
  • salt (adjust amount to taste)

NOTE: The “recipe” above is mostly a guess-timation. I would recommend using it as a rough ingredient list and adjusting proportions according to your own personal taste

Edit: Adding tomato (1 Campari) is also a great addition to this recipe

(General) Method:

  • Heat 1 knob of butter over medium-high heat in pan
  • Add whole peeled crushed cloves of garlic, carrot, and squash. Sauté until caramelization around edges.
  • Add couscous and toast in pan for a minute
  • Add water, about 1/3 cup at a time, letting the couscous soak it up
  • Add scallions and seasoning (paprika, cayenne, bay leaf, black pepper, salt)
  • Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer. Continue adding liquid until couscous is cooked through. I like to keep extra liquid as a sort of flavorful broth.
  • Remove (what should now be) soft garlic cloves and crush/ slice. Incorporating back into dish.
  • Remove bay leaf
  • Hit with a final knob of butter. The flavor gods thank you.

And if you are like me and want some random basic facts/info about couscous to go with your dinner… here is what I learned while eating:

  • What is couscous?: steamed balls of crushed durum wheat semolina
  • Originated where?: North Africa (Berbers)
  • Made How?: Traditionally couscous is rolled and sieved by hand (!!!)
  • Different Types?: There are three main types of couscous: Moroccan (smallest), Israeli/pearl (larger), and Lebanese (largest)

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