Sun Dried Tomato Couscous Recipe
All Natural, Healthy Side Dish or Salad
We're trying to eat healthier this year so that means learning to cook with new ingredients. Couscous is a fabulous grain that we think is much lighter and tastier than rice. It makes a great base for many dishes - soaking up the flavors from other ingredients.
This version features black beans, brocoli and feta cheese. As usual for me, I use homemade stock when cooking the couscous. Garlic, lemon and a good quality olive oil make a tasty dressing.
We love this dish - eating it as is one day and adding leftover chicken to create a different meal the next.
Use your imagination!
2 cups homemade vegetable stock or water
1 1/2 cups couscous
3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
10-12 oil packed sundried tomatoes, chopped
oil from sundried tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed (I made this recipe with one can but will use 2 in future!)
1-2 cups broccoli florets - depending on how much you like broccoli. I will use more in future!
3 medium scallions , chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup feta cheese , crumbled
Ground black pepper
Use your imagine and whatever is in your fridge!
This is Easy as Pie!
Heat stock to boil, add couscous and some salt and remove from heat. Cover and let stand 10 minutes. Then you use a fork and "fluff" it. Transfer it to a large serving bowl.
For this particularly batch, I used a tomato stock. I made it from a bag of tomato scraps and added celery, scallion and garlic. Really added a great depth of flavor that enhanced the sundried tomatoes. Get creative about using your scraps to make stock. I make roasted red pepper stock, herb stocks....
Prepare Other Ingredients While Couscous is Cooking
Rinse Black Beans (or you could use Chick Peas for a more Mediteranian Salad, or ANY bean really).
Cut broccoli into florets. I've tried using stems but they just don't taste right in this dish. Freeze them for your stir-fry recipes. If you are using other vegetables, cut them into bite-size pieces.
Chop your sun-dried tomatoes. I use my flexible cutting board so that I can "capture" the oil from the sundried tomatoes and add it to my dressing. It REALLY intensifies the tomato flavor.
Thinly slice your scallions or spring onions. Remember to pull out your freezer stock scrap bag so that you can save your discarded ends from your scallions!
Use Your Imagination! This is a method, not a recipe
Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, and oil(s) in small bowl.
This is a method, not a recipe. Basically you want an acid (here it it lemon but it could be another citrus or vinegar), and oil. Add other aromatics depending on what type of dish you are creating. For example, minced ginger instead of garlic would be great with asian-inspired meals.
As Soon as Couscous is in Bowl...
Add your dressing and sun-dried tomatoes. The couscous will absorb the dressing while it is warm and the heat from the couscous will help soften the sun-dried tomatoes. Stir well.
Once it has sat for 10-15 minutes and begun to cool off, add your other ingredients. TASTE because you might want to add more salt, a pinch of pepper, more lemon...
Depending on my mood, I often add more sun-dried tomatoes (or the oil) or more feta (My family LOVES feta cheese!).
This is great served lukewarm. The couscous absorbs the flavors so it is really good the next day. I often use it as the basis for a "meat" dish by adding cooked chicken, beef or pork.