An adaptation of the Moroccan classic dish, this Americanized version melds sweet with savory and just a tinge of heat. Part of its charm lies with its handsome presentation, which shows off its many textures and colors. Feel free to make your own adaptations using golden raisins instead of black ones, and summer squash, fava beans or trimmed green beans for the zucchini and chickpeas. This meal-in-one calls for accompaniments of toasted pita triangles and a spicy hot or chilled tea, plus something exotic for dessert, such as a wedge of baklava or a dish of rose-scented Persian ice cream.
- 1 7- to 9-oz. box instant couscous
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 large zucchini, cubed
- 1 1/3 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup chopped, pitted dates
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup minced parsley
- Mint leaves for garnish
- Using a large saucepan, cook grains with raisins according to package directions and with no added fat.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium heat and when hot, add garlic and sauté until golden. Add cayenne, paprika and zucchini and sauté 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and green peas, and season to taste.
- Stir vegetable mixture into cooked couscous. Spoon into large serving dish, making well in center. Fill well with dates and cashews, and garnish dish with parsley and mint leaves. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Zinfandel pairs well with intensely flavored dried fruits like tomatoes, figs and olives. The addition to the couscous of paprika, zucchini and mild spice definitely beckons to Zinfandel. Try a Rubus Amador County Old Vines Zinfandel for a perfect pairing.
- Serving Size: Serves 6
- Calories: 530
- Carbohydrate Content: 80 g
- Fat Content: 19 g
- Fiber Content: 9 g
- Protein Content: 15 g
- Saturated Fat Content: 3 g
- Sodium Content: 370 mg