Sunday, July 22, 2012
Cool and Quick for Summer Side or Main Dish
I decided to try making it as a vegetarian dish and so I removed the cooked, cubed chicken that usually is included and, since I have oodles of zucchini, I added in some shredded zucchini, lightly cooked in the microwave.
If you have packaged couscous with the toasted pine nut seasoning packet in the pantry and the other ingredients around, this takes something like 10 minutes to make, so it's great for a quick meal after a long day.
We used up the leftovers the next day as a stuffing for Portobello mushrooms and it was a great combination. I marinated the prepared mushrooms in a mixture of a little balsamic vinegar, some olive oil, some veggie broth, fresh thyme, freshly ground pepper and a minced clove of garlic. Sweetie cooked the stuffed mushrooms on the grill until heated through. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos, but they really were tasty! The actual prep time for the mushrooms was about 20 minutes, including turning the mushrooms over in the marinade a couple of times and including the stuffing and grilling. Since the filling was ready to go, this, too is a quick and easy meal, although you need to remember to marinate the mushrooms early in the day.
1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (5.6 oz.) package toasted pine nut couscous mix
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (4 oz.) package crumbled feta cheese
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Garnish: fresh basil leaves
Note: You'll need to buy a 2/3 oz. package of fresh basil to get the right amount of basil for this recipe. Substitute 3-4 teaspoons (I used 3) dried basil if you can't get fresh.
Microwave broth and seasoning packet from couscous package at HIGH for 3-5 minutes or until broth begins to boil. Place couscous in a large bowl, and stir in broth mixture. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
While couscous is standing, use the same container you used to heat the broth and microwave the shredded zucchini on high for one minute.
Uncover couscous and fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in basil, cooked zucchini and next 5 ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, if desired.