November 30, 2007

Israeli Couscous with Broccoli & Cauliflower





Ingredients:
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 1/4 cup mushroom broth
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1 bunch broccoli, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, cauliflower, broccoli and saute until softened. Meanwhile, bring the broth to a boil then add couscous and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Toss the vegetables with the couscous, lemon juice and zest. Serve hot or cold.



My thoughts:
After some heavy meals, a light vegetable-based dinner seemed in order. The flavors are simple, but it is a fairly filling dish this tasty served hot or cold. Israeli couscous is a fun alternative to pasta, rice or ordinary couscous, it is larger (sort of the size of large pearl tapioca) and slightly chewy but has a neutral flavor that absorbs broth and other flavors well.

8 comments:

  1. I have to object on the name you've given to Couscous!
    First It's NOT Israeli. It originated from Morocco
    The Variant that you're using here is Also not Israeli! It's Arabic.

    I don't want to turn this to a political debate, would it be too hard to just say "Couscous"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. There really is no call for a debate at all. The product is called Israeli couscous. It is a product of Israel. It is labled Israeli couscous on the box. To simply call it "couscous" would be a misnomer, it is a completely different product than what is called Moroccan couscous (or just "couscous") here in the US. If you click through the link I provided you can see the exact discription of the product. I'm sorry you seem to have a problem with the name, but perhaps you can take that up with the manufactor.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Actually calling it Israeli is the misnomer here. Since this is pretty much cultural theft. There is no such a thing as Israeli couscous.
    But it has happened to Hummus, Falafel and now Couscous!

    Alright, there are two -major- types of couscous
    1) Small couscous
    2) Large couscous

    The larger couscous is chewy and requires different handling when it's steamed. (Couscous usually needs to be steamed to bring the best out of it) To stop it from over cooking, you can add the broth (stew usually) in the presentation plate.

    I hope the tips will cover up for my previous rant!

    If you end up visiting Jordan, I can direct you to couple places that hand make couscous. There's nothing like freshly made "Maftool"

    Another tip to try:
    Steam the Couscous until it's of preferred chewiness level.
    Sprinkle with powder sugar and cinnamon
    And enjoy as a snack! Used to love it as kids

    ReplyDelete
  4. Actually, I still beg to differ. I have had "Maftool" and that is not what I used here.

    "Israeli couscous" is not as chewy as "Palestinian couscous" or "Maftool". "Maftool" or "Maftoul" is generally very chewy and is made with bulgur wheat in addition to the regular wheat flour while "Israeli couscous" is basically large, round toasted wheat pasta. Two totally different things. I can see how it would be confusing, as they look similar but they are really two seperate foods and are prepared in different ways. There is also Lebanese couscous, but that's a whole 'nother story.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whatever you want to call it, this is nice and timely for me since I just bought a bunch and was thinking about what to do with it. This is pretty close to what I probably would have come up with, but you did all the work -- thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The material doesn't really matter. It's up to the chef's personal preference wheat or semolina. Bulgar might also be used or combined/added, but not in the traditional dishes of Maftool/Couscous. You also have the choice of toasting it or not after it's rolled.

    Anyway, Thank you for the dish, I was thinking to add to my chicken stew and a side of couscous would be the perfect addition :)
    Sorry for the long exchange

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been on such a quinoa kick lately that I've neglected a box of Israeli couscous in my cupboard. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Posting about Israeli couscous always seems to provoke discussion: http://baltimoregon.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/getting-into-those-whole-grains/

    ReplyDelete

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