Couscous is a dish for sharing.
An Italian Chef once told me that the very preparation of it – hand rolling millet or wheat every so slowly until they form tiny balls we know and love as couscous – actually symbolizes abundance as well as happiness.
This reminds me something which Brillat-Savarin once wrote
“To invite people to dine with us is to make ourselves responsible for their well-being for as long as they are under our roofs”
I enjoy cooking with couscous as an alternative to pasta, rice or potato. The combination of spices and textures makes this my favorite couscous recipe: the freshness of the mint and the unique pairing of saffron with cinnamon – the crunchiness of pistachios and pomegranate seeds against the softness of raisins and a perfectly steamed couscous.
You will need:
Knob of Butter
Chicken or Vegetable Stock
Organic Lemon (unsprayed, unwaxed)
Prepare a fresh pomegranate by setting aside its seeds.
De-shell the pistachios, slice mint into thin strips, and zest an organic lemon.
Prepare a ratio of 1:1 Couscous to water. Set aside the couscous and boil the water.
Boil the water. I prefer to use some homemade chicken stock which has a subtle flavor. If you are using stock cubes or powdered stock, go easy on the amount or else you wont be able to taste the other wonderful flavors in this recipe.
Once the water is boiled, turn off the heat and add the couscous to the pot, with a handful of raisins and a pinch of saffron. Stir once. Put the lid on the pot and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes (not on the stovetop! you do not boil couscous, but simply allow it to steam gently)
When the couscous is ready, transfer to a big ceramic bowl. Both pomegranate seeds and lemons act as an astringent, so I prefer to use ceramic and not metal bowls.
Add the knob of butter, cinnamon and lemon zest and fluff up the couscous with a fork.\
Now add the mint, pistachios and pomegranate seeds. Stir once and serve!