Mediterranean Couscous – Pasta Contest Winner
To recreate the winner of our “Pasta” contest you only need to remember one thing…
Every ingredient in this recipe is either one box, one cup, one teaspoon, one clove, etc… That’s it! Our latest winner, Veronica Callaghan, made it easy for you!
Veronica says, “I have been making it for quite a while now and it has become a family favorite. I will often make a double or even triple batch and leave it in the fridge so my hungry teenagers can graze on it whenever (they like it hot or cold)! I like this recipe because it can be extremely versatile-you can substitute your favorite vegetables and herbs based on what is in season or even just based on what is in the fridge. I will often cut up a rotisserie chicken and throw that in to make a heartier meal.”
Now, I know what you are thinking. Couscous? Since when is that a pasta? The Israeli or “Pearl” Couscous called for in this recipe is “a unique Mediterranean Toasted Pasta Specialty.” (See it says it right there on the box!)
You may already be familiar with the small, yellow semolina-based North African couscous. This Israeli couscous is much larger in size and is toasted rather than dried. This was my first time preparing Israeli couscous and I am absolutely hooked! Toasting the pearls imparted a nutty flavor, and the pasta has a chewy bite that paired perfectly with the other components in this dish.
I absolutely loved this dish cold and found myself going back to the fridge for nibbles throughout the day. This one is certainly a keeper!
1 (32 Ounce) Container Chicken Stock
1 cup Mediterranean (a.k.a. Israeli) Couscous
1 cup Diced Roasted Red Pepper
1 cup Coarsely Chopped Arugula
1 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
1 cup Diced Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Pine Nuts
1 Lemon, thinly sliced then halved
Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium sized saucepan. Stir in the couscous, reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Drain couscous and transfer to a large bowl.
Stir the red pepper, arugula, basil, mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, pine nuts and lemon slices into the bowl with the couscous. Serve warm or chilled.
Vegetable broth can be substituted for the chicken broth to make this dish vegetarian. This tasty dish made with large sized couscous can be served hot, chilled or room temperature. I gave it the name because it has “one” of everything in it! I chose to use fresh mozzarella cheese but feel free to substitute feta or even goat cheese if you would prefer.
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