Sunday, June 7, 2009

Whole wheat couscous with apricots and pistachios

**This is not a gluten-free recipe and was posted before I eliminated gluten from my diet. Quinoa or millet could be substituted for the couscous for a gluten-free option.**

whole wheat couscous with apricots and pistachios, adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook EverythingThe downside of using whole grains is that most of them take a long time to cook (particularly wheat berries, hulled barley, brown rice, and steel-cut oats). However, some of them cook fairly quickly because they are small (like millet and quinoa), and others take a very brief time because they have been pre-steamed. The whole wheat couscous available in the U.S. generally falls in this last category (along with bulgur). I rarely eat couscous because, while it is made from wheat, it doesn't have the same nutty flavor that I love about bulgur and wheat berries. However, it has a really interesting texture that is somewhat similar to quinoa or millet, and sometimes it's fun to mix things up and eat something new. Plus, you can provide a nutty flavor by simply adding nuts (I know, I'm a genius ;)).

Whole wheat couscous with apricots and pistachios (adapted from Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything")

1 cup veggie broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 cup whole wheat couscous
6 dried apricots, diced
1/4 cup roasted pistachios

Bring broth, oil, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous, remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 5 min. Then fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in apricots and pistachios. Serves 4.

This was good hot, but great cold. Or perhaps letting the flavors gel together overnight made it better, but after taking a bite of the leftovers straight out of the refrigerator, I never bothered to heat it up. It's simple, but was a good way for me to mix up my grain repertoire on a night when I didn't have much time to spend cooking.


Julia said...

When it comes to couscous, I've become a big fan of the Israeli variety -- I love the texture (though, no nutty flavor). I've never seen it in a WW variety... have you?

Katie said...

I've never seen WW Israeli couscous in a store, but I see that it's available online. I bet that would be amazing!