Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Couscous with Garlic & Scallions

Fluffy couscous with garlic and scallions. It's the perfect side dish that's ready in 10 minutes or less!

Couscous is similar to rice but smaller in size. I tried it for the first time two years ago and it become an instant favorite. It has a very light, almost buttery texture. I sometimes prefer to make couscous over rice because it's quick and easy. Rice can be kind of tricky to make: I either get it perfect or get it too soft. Couscous is very easy to prepare--I don't feel like you can mess it up.

Simply saute some garlic and scallions (green onions) in butter until fragrant. Add water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, add the couscous, give it a quick stir and cover. Let the couscous sit off the heat for 5 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Fluff the couscous with a fork and it is ready to serve! Seriously, so easy...

I developed this recipe while developing a recipe for garlic-lime chicken (recipe to come). The citrus flavors of the marinade I used needed something light to accompany it. I thought couscous was the perfect pairing. I have kept this recipe simple so that it can accompany the fresh flavors of the garlic and scallions. This dish is very versatile and can be paired with many dishes. I think it goes best with chicken or fish. I prefer using scallions in this recipe because they give a light onion flavor without being overpowering.

Speaking of scallions. I hate to admit this, but for the longest time I didn't realize scallions and green onions were the same thing. I would watch cooking shows and the chefs would be like: "chop some scallions" and I would get discouraged because I could never find "scallions" in the store I could only find "green onions." The green onions looked like the exact same thing they were using, but I figured scallions were an onion that were not available in my area(I live in a small Midwest town where it is hard to find certain ingredients). Nope, scallion is just a different word for green onion. It depends on the area you are from, but both names are for this the same onion. Occasionally you will run across multiple names for the same food. Another area of the country may call an ingredient a name completely different than what you know it as. You just have to do a little research(in my case, Google) to see if it's the same ingredient.

Okay, enough of my embarrassing story. Try this couscous!

Couscous with Garlic & Scallions

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup couscous
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, adjust as needed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley


1. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped scallions and garlic and stir. Saute for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in water, and a little salt and pepper. Once water begins to boil, add couscous and stir just to incorporate. Cover.

2. Turn off the burner and allow the couscous to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Refer to package directions as well, times may varies for different varieties of couscous.

3. Uncover and fluff couscous with a fork. Serve with chicken or fish.

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