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Alexander's Couscous

Wes Fryer
A favorite recipe of Alexander's college roommates at Mines
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar plus more for serving
  • 2 fat garlic cloves finely grated or minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
  • 3 oregano rosemary or sage sprigs
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • cup chopped cilantro dill or parsley, plus more for serving
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces pearl couscous 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup feta crumbled (about 4 ounces)
  • cup freshly grated Parmesan 1 1/2 ounces

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a 9-inch baking dish, cake pan or gratin dish, toss together tomatoes, scallions, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and oregano sprigs. Roast until tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • While tomatoes roast, heat the stock until it boils, then stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt, adding more to taste. (You want a well-seasoned broth here to flavor the couscous.) Stir in cilantro, lemon zest and cumin.
  • Remove tomatoes from oven and fold in couscous, chickpeas and hot stock mixture. Cover pan tightly with foil, and return to oven for 20 minutes.
  • Remove foil and fold in about 3/4ths of the feta (save the rest for garnish) and Parmesan. Bake uncovered until feta starts to melt, another 5 minutes.
  • To serve, pull out and discard herb sprigs if you like, and spoon couscous into bowls. Top with remaining feta, lots more herbs, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Notes

This takes a bit longer than some other dinner recipes which are "regulars" for us but it's worth it. It is a vegetarian dish. Original recipe from the New York Times. The combination of flavors and spices, along with the balsamic vinegar, is really amazing. We eat this as a main course, but it can be paired with a meat dish like chicken.
Keyword vegetarian
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