Sometimes I like to try to clean out my cupboard when I make a recipe. You know how it is: you accidentally push half a box of couscous to the back of your shelf and forget all about it til you reach for the bag of pistachios in front. Then, surprise! And while you're digging around in the cupboard, you suddenly realize that you forgot about the jar of preserved lemons your friend sent you. The wheels get turning. Then, bam! You eye those golden raisins you thought you finished. And, voila, dinner is born. I find I often inadvertently push stuff to the back of the shelf when I get new groceries. Despite my efforts to not be lazy, I am
always sometimes a slacker when it comes to my shelving of the new foods. Doesn't sound like you? Well, then I envy your cupboard skills. Go on, brag about it and get it over with.
So, now you know that this dinner was a cupboard cleaner. You could really customize it lots of different ways. This is just how I made it. And, I must say, it was quite scrumptious. The ingredient list looks daunting, but half of it consists of spices. Moroccan food typically has lots of spice. Feel free to add more of less of these. I found this is the perfect mix for my tastes. And, if you know me well, you'll be surprised to find this recipe contains neither onion nor garlic. Shocking, I know!
This makes enough for 3 as a main dish. Or 6 as a side. You can serve it cold or warm. I like it a little better warm, personally.
- 1 cup Israeli (also called Pearl) couscous
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 1 TB dried parsley
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2-2/3 cup roughly-chopped pistachios
- 1 heaped cup cooked (or canned) chickpeas
- 2 TB preserved lemon, finely minced (you could substitute fresh lemon juice, I suppose)
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to your tastes
- 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 scant tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/8-1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used a 1/8)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- Bring the water and parsley to a boil with a lid on the pot so none evaporates. Then remove from the burner, stir in the couscous, and cover for 8-10 minutes. It'll be ready when the liquid is all absorbed. While you wait, start with the rest of the recipe.
- Whisk together your oil and vinegar and set aside. This is the dressing of sorts.
- Combine the spices in a separate bowl.
- Your couscous should be ready by now, so go ahead and remove the lid. Add the chickpeas, raisins and pistachios and stir. Now add in the dressing and stir again.
- Add the spices a little at a time, stirring and tasting as you go.
- You can either serve it warm, like me. Or you can refrigerate it for an hour and serve cooled. Enjoy dudes and dudettes!