Made in Italy from rolled, steamed, dried and sieved durum wheat, this medium grain couscous is the perfect canvas for bold spices, herbs and roasted veggies.
Couscous originates from North Africa and it is a staple ingredient in many Mediterranean countries. In Italy it is a traditional dish in the province of Trapani, Sicily, where it is served with fish soup.
- Boil water: Pour water into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. For each cup of dry couscous, use one cup of water.
- Add salt and oil or butter: Salt to taste the water and add a little extra virgin olive oil or butter if desired, to add moisture.
- Stir the couscous: Remove the pan from heat and pour in the couscous. Stir to evenly moisten the couscous. Let it steam for five minutes. If the couscous hasn't absorbed the water or still tastes crunchy, cover and let it stir for a few more minutes.
- Fluff with a fork: Gently break apart and fluff the cooked couscous with a fork before serving. Also, stir in any flavourful extras, such as lemon zest or chopped scallions.
- For extra flavour, use vegetable stock instead of water.
- The proportions for cooking couscous are generally 1:1. Less water makes couscous drier, good for salads or serving with sauces. More water makes couscous softer and slightly sticky.
- Never use too much water; the grains of couscous should absorb the water, not stew in it.
- Never boil couscous, use water that has just come off the boil.
- Toasting gives the couscous more flavour; melt the butter or olive oil in the saucepan, stir in the couscous until it smells fragrant and toasty, boil the water separately, pour over the couscous, and process as normal.
- Try adding spices along with the couscous for a more flavourful dish.
Couscous is an excellent accompaniment to chicken and lamb dishes, as well as making a great alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes.