Mediterranean Couscous

Some things are just meant to be. A couple of weeks ago I was jogging through Harvard Square when I heard someone calling my name. I was disoriented for a second, but when I turned around, I was surprised to see that it was my friend Rashmi from college – crazy, huh – we had no idea that we both lived in Boston! When we met for drinks the next week it felt like no time had passed at all, so I was super excited to have Rashmi and her hubby Ed over for a Greek-inspired dinner last weekend. I’m trying to relax more when we have friends over and not stress myself out by making too many dishes and spending the entire weekend in the kitchen. So, I kept things simple and served chicken kabobs with tzatziki alongside a big Greek salad and Elly’s amazing moussaka. Our guests brought kataifi for dessert and Greek wine.  It was a perfect evening of good food and even better company!

I also made a version of my favorite couscous to serve with the kabobs. It’s stuffed with goodies like artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas, feta, and almonds, and dressed with an oregano lemon vinaigrette. I often whip this up for dinner when I’m tired because couscous cooks so quickly and it’s filling enough for a full meal with just the almonds and chickpeas, which are pantry staples I always have around. But, the dish is really versatile and I often add other ingredients like chicken sausage or mix things up by stuffing the couscous into roasted bell peppers!

p.s. Congrats to Cara who won my CSN Stores gift card giveaway!

Mediterranean Couscous
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole wheat couscous
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup crumbled feta
1 cup toasted coarsely chopped almonds

Directions:
To prepare couscous, bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat, pour in couscous, and stir well. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nonstick pan over medium high heat and sauté onion for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened; add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute.

Whisk remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and salt in a small bowl until smooth to make the lemon vinaigrette.

Place couscous, onions, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas, feta, almonds, and lemon vinaigrette in a very large bowl and mix until well combined. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition: 586 calories, 23.8g fat, 16.6g fiber, 21.0g protein per serving
Cost: $2.21 per serving

28 Responses to Mediterranean Couscous

  1. This is such a great, versatile dish. I love your ideas of adding chicken sausage and/or stuffing the couscous into peppers… gotta love recipes that can be adapted to suit your cravings!

  2. A greek inspired feast! How fun! And isn’t it such a small world? It never ceases to amaze me who you could run into around every corner.

    This is such a fantastic dish and a great thing to throw together on a hectic weeknight!

  3. I hear ya on the trying to make more laidback meals. I tend to get so excited about having people to cook things for that I go overboard. This looks like the perfect balance. The couscous sounds wonderful, and I could imagine making this with Israeli couscous (my favorite).

  4. This looks so delicious, especially alongside kebobs! I need to take a cue from you on relaxing and enjoying the company when friends are over. After all that’s what’s more important.

  5. That is so neat that you ‘ran’ into an old friend that way! I bet your Greek feast was delicious! The couscous is packed with goodness – I love how easy and fast it is too.

  6. Yum! I’m always looking for ways to spice up my side dishes and cous cous is a regular occurrence at our place so this will be perfect! I love having random run-ins like you that.. makes you realize its such a small world!

  7. Wow, that’s so cool! It’s always nice to bump into an old friend. I wish I could “bump” into you too, and invite myself over to a dinner party at your place. lol.

  8. Congrats to the winner! yeah!! I am with you that you don’t need to slave away in the kitchen for your guests!!

    This cous cous salad looks awesome!

    MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,…!

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