Cous cous is a pantry staple that will reward you every single time. What’s necessary in a cous cous recipe is really the ratio. Beyond that you can find a variety of couscous recipes that season and flavor the tiny pearls any way you can imagine. Here’s why this is something you will want to keep on hand.
Five Minute Fast
The key to making a cous cous recipe is bringing the liquids to a boil, stirring in the cous cous, turning off the heat, and covering to steam for five minutes. That’s it. We like adding aromatics to the broth and you can even saute them first—there are many couscous recipes out there. Some use dried herbs or fresh. Others rely on toasted pine nuts or as we do below, green pistachios for a pop of color, nutty flavor, and slight crunch.
Figs in a Flash
This cous cous recipe calls for sliced California Dried Figs. Use either Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice dark Mission Dried Figs or Golden Dried Figs—both will work here and offer a different kind of sweetness. You could also try finely chopping the figs to better integrate them into the dish, making more of a pilaf with the figs closer to the size of the scallions added on at the end.
Flavor Adds to Change Up a Simple Side Dish
A very simple switch-up in the cous cous recipe below would be to grate some lemon zest to add a bit of bright citrusy flavor to the dish. Or, stick with the green theme and try adding in lime zest.
Other Couscous Recipes
We are all in on easy side dishes so couscous recipes stay top of mind for us. A switch-up here would be the carrot pine nut cous cous recipe, where you grate carrot into the pot (and thus add in extra veggies into your meal—always a win!). This preparation leans on orange zest and juice, a natural flavor pairing with carrots and with a hint of cinnamon that leans that cous cous recipe toward a great pairing with Moroccan dishes like chicken tagines or vegetarian tagines.
Is Pearl Cous Cous the Same Thing
Have you ever heard of Israeli cous cous also known as pearl cous cous? Those giant pearls offer a different kind of texture but also they take a little bit longer to cook, but still only seven to eight minutes. One pearl cous cous recipe to try is Chef Joanne Weir’s lemon-infused pearl cous cous with figs.
California Fig & Pistachio Couscous
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 oz couscous
- 1 1/2 cups Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs thinly sliced
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- Combine 2 1/4 cups water, oil and salt in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Remove from heat; stir in couscous, figs, and spices. Cover; let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and fluff with fork. Cool completely. Stir in nuts, green onions and basil.