Monday, April 25, 2011

Couscous with Pine Nuts and Cheese

I've turned into a huge fan of leftovers.  When I was growing up, I shunned leftovers like the plague.  Even when my mom cleverly disguised them as something new and interesting, I still refused.  No leftovers for me!  But now I LOVE them.  It makes packing a lunch so much easier.  When the work weeks get busy or I go out a lot for dinner, my lunches really suffer.  This week is going to be packed with happy hours, dinners, and other post-work activities, so tonight I whipped up a super simple couscous right before I went to bed so I'd have something tasty for lunch.  It also would make a wonderful side dish or served up with a side of veggies.  This recipe makes two large portions, or 3-4 side portions.

1 cup dry couscous
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tbls olive oil (optional)
1/3 cup pine nuts*
1/3 - 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1 tsp garam masala
Salt & Pepper

Cook the couscous according to the package directions.  Generally, you bring the stock with the olive oil to a boil.  Add the couscous, cover the pot, and remove from heat.  Let sit for about 5 minutes until the couscous has absorbed the liquid.  Fluff with a fork.

While this is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a small pan over low heat.  It should take about 5 minutes.  Shake the pan often so that the nuts don't burn on one side!

Add the cheese, toasted pine nuts, garam masala, salt and pepper.  Mix everything together and adjust the seasonings to taste.  If you happen to have some, throw in some chopped cilantro or parsley, if that's your style.  I also top each serving with another drizzle of oil.  Couscous can be a little dry, but this is a mild flavorful dish that would make a great lunch!


*Food Tip: Nuts will go rancid if they are not used quickly.  If you keep them in the freezer, they'll keep longer and you won't have to go to the store as much.  Yay!

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