Thursday, October 28, 2010

Whole Wheat Couscous with Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe is incredibly versatile as a side dish or a potluck dish:
  • You can serve it either hot or at room temperature
  • It makes 6-8 large servings for an affordable price, especially if you make it using produce from your garden
  • It's great as leftovers, especially when the cherry tomatoes burst and the tangy tomato juice soaks into the couscous
  • It's a great way to use a large quantity of cherry or grape tomatoes quickly--you know, when they are on their last legs and getting a little too soft to add to a salad.
  • If you finely dice a portion of the yellow squash, you can serve the couscous only portion to a picky child and they will not notice that they are eating onions and squash with the couscous. (Ask me how I know!)
Adapted from The All New Joy of Cooking, page 268:
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 lbs zucchini and/or yellow squash (I use 4 medium: 2 green, 2 yellow) in larger bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I try to use bone soup or homemade vegetable stock)
  • 2 T chopped fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking whole wheat couscous (I find this at Trader Joe's)
  • 24-36 Cherry or Grape tomatoes (to taste; I like extra)
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions, cook 5 minutes, then add squash and zucchini. Cook, stirring often, until some onions and squash are browned a bit. Don't overcook to avoid the squash getting soft and soggy. Add minced garlic, stir, and cook for an additional minute. Add stock, thyme, and salt, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in whole wheat couscous. Cover and let stand until couscous has absorbed the stock, about 8-10 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, stirring to combine, and cover again to gently warm tomatoes up a few minutes longer. Serve warm immediately, or at room temperature later.

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