In another of our series of potentially neglected ingredients in your pantry, food writer Helen Best-Shaw, explores cous cous and finds 10 wonderful recipes to help use up that bag at the back of your kitchen cupboard.
Cous cous is a traditional North Africa ingredient made of tiny granules of durum wheat, which have been steamed and dried. It is an increasingly popular alternative to pasta, rice and other grains. It cooks quickly, has a light and fluffy texture.
Because cous cous is relatively flavourless, it is highly adaptable and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. It is excellent for soaking up the juices or tagines and stews, and is a perfect base for more substantial salads.
Basic Cous Cous
Light fluffy properly prepared cous cous is a delight, and once you know the correct ratio soggy heavy cous cous will be a thing of the past. This cous cous primer from Love Foodies, will ensure perfect cous cous every time.
Get the recipe here: Love Foodies
Cous cous lentil pilaf with hazelnut blood orange dip
This vibrant salad from Contentedness Cooking is packed with colour and flavours and will get you into a summery mood, perfect for those spring days when the weather is unseasonally chilly. Blood oranges are in season until late May, but this will work just as well with regular oranges.
Get the recipe here: Contentedness Cooking
One Pot Chicken Cassserole with Cous Cous and Olives
Everyone loves a good one pot recipe, this recipe by Sarah at Maison Cupcake is super speedy to prepare with very little hands on time. The cous cous is packed with flavour having absorbed all the cooking juices. Perfect freshly cooked for a weekend lunch, or cold for picnics and packed lunches.
Get the recipe here: Maison Cupcake
Giant Cous Cous Salad with Chorizo, Pumpkin and Spinach
Unlike the regular cous cous the pearls of giant cous cous, or mograbieh need to be simmered to cook them, it is well worth the effort with this stunningly attractive salad with cous cous, fried chorizo, roasted squash and spinach from Kavey Eats.
Get the recipe here: Kavey Eats
Jewelled Cous Cous with Pomegranate and Almonds
This pretty cous cous from Cook Sister blog is studded with jewel like pomegranate seeds, and was made to accompany a rich lamb tagine. I think you need to make a double batch to have some over for lunch the next day.
Get the recipe here: Cook Sister
Cous Cous with Dried Fruit and Nuts
In this delightful dish, Lydia packs her cous cous with home dehydrated fruits, including exotic pineapple and papaya as well as a selection of nuts. Of course you can use packet dried fruit, but for the healthy option check they contain no added sugar.
Get the recipe here: Lydia's Flexitarian Kitchen
Bulgar, Cous Cous and Puy Lentil Salad
Jac’s minty tabbouleh inspired salad is made from a mix of grains and lentils, which adds lots of extra flavour and texture adds some protein as well as turning this simple cous cous based salad into a complete and satisfying meal.
Get the recipe here: Tinned Tomatoes
Baharat Spiced Roast Duck over an Orange and Pomegranate Couscous Salad
Baharat is a spice mix from the Middle East containing fragrant spices such as allspice, cloves, cassia bark, cardamom and coriander. In this recipe Bintu has updated the classic duck and orange pairing by cooking the duck in the baharat spices and then serving on a bed of orange and pomegranate cous cous.
Get the recipe here: Recipes from a Pantry
Edamame Apricot and Mint Cous Cous
Kellie’s recipe is more of a guide of mixing and matching flavours, textures and colours to make the perfect cous cous salad. One tip is to mix up both regular cous cous and the giant variety to make the textures far more interesting – otherwise anything goes!
Get the recipe here: Kellie's Food To Glow
Egg Fried Cous Cous
Lastly is my recipe for egg fried cous cous. I find that the near instant nature of cous cous makes it perfect for when you have nothing to eat. Simply pour some boiling water over the cous cous and chop up some vegetables whilst the cous cous hydrates. Fry with an egg for a near instant meal.
Get the recipe here: Fuss Free Flavours
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