Friday, December 14, 2012

Coconut-y Israeli Couscous

I'm taking a quick break from Eight Desserts of Hanukkah to post a rich Israeli couscous dish. When cooked in coconut milk, Israeli couscous becomes a decadent treat fancy enough for dinner parties yet quick enough for casual weeknight dinners.

Coconut-y Israeli Couscous:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Israeli couscous
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water
Lemon zest from 1 lemon (optional -- it adds a very strong lemon flavor.)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons mint or parsley, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add Israeli couscous and toast for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add coconut milk, water, lemon zest (if using), cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, cover and reduce temperature to low and let cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, most of the liquid should be absorbed. Stir in lemon juice, mint or parsley (if using), dried cranberries and almonds and cover again for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the liquid should be fully absorbed. Fluff with a fork and serve warm with roasted root vegetables.

Happy Friday, everyone!

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