Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cranberry Apple Israeli Couscous

Preparing grains with fruit speckled throughout is pretty new to me.

I love salads with strawberries or oranges tossed throughout, drizzled with a poppyseed dressing or raspberry vinaigrettee...heck, spinach with mandarin oranges and sliced almonds was our go-to standard salad growing up.

But grains, really? Can you have fruit for dinner?

Oh, yes you can! We made Israeli couscous for the first time last week. The Whole Foods container of the stuff has been sitting in our pantry for about a year, and it was time to try it. Delicious! I love the consistency of this tiny pearl-shaped grain. Regular whole wheat couscous is our standard, but this was fun to mix it up. And adding fruit brought the dish to another level.

Cranberry Apple Israeli Couscous
This grain dates back to the 12th century and even earlier. It cooks quickly, holds the flavors of the herbs you add, and is a delicious side dish. We served this alongside baked talapia and fresh steamed broccoli.
Simplified from Giada

1 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup of water
1 cup broth (I used veggie)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tart apple, chopped into bits
Dash of dried rosemary (or 2 t. fresh chopped rosemary)
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, pour in the olive oil. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned and aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the water and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.  Stir in the  rosemary, salt, pepper, apple, and dried cranberries.
Oh, man, I am getting hungry. Happy evening, folks.

Happy eating!

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