Couscous is one of the most versatile grains out there. It can be made ahead of time, or to order. It is delicious when prepared vegan, meaty, or even as dessert. It has even spawned a pasta relative called Israeli couscous with larger, chewier grains. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy this Middle Eastern dish:
1. Spanishy Couscous
Fluffy couscous is mixed with sliced almonds, olives, and other ingredients. It’s then tossed with a smoky, spicy, vibrant dressing made from piquillo peppers, sugar, and sherry vinegar. Serve it with a Spanish tortilla or even as breakfast with a fried egg. Get our Spanishy Couscous recipe.
2. Couscous and Orange Caramel Pudding
Because a little dessert is always a good idea. Here, couscous is enriched with a rich, eggy vanilla pudding, then refrigerated and served with warm caramel sauce and pistachios. This is an ideal ending to a Moroccan meal. Get our Couscous and Orange Caramel Pudding recipe.
3. Campfire Couscous with Zucchini and Pine Nuts
It’s time to upgrade from weenies and a can of beans on your next camping trip. Cook this Israeli couscous with sautéed garlic over your camping stove. Then, add in zucchini, currants and pine nuts and serve it as is or wait for the next day when it is a delicious cold vegetarian main dish. Get our Campfire Couscous with Zucchini and Pine Nuts recipe.
4. Israeli Couscous with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan, and Lemon Vinaigrette
This fun spin on pasta is perfect for summer cookouts because it can be served room temperature or hot. Roast cherry tomatoes until they split and become sweet and then top them with shavings of sharp Parmesan cheese and bright, herbaceous lemon vinaigrette. Add some grilled chicken sausage to make it a main dish. Get our Israeli Couscous with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Parmesan, and Lemon Vinaigrette recipe.
5. Mediterranean Couscous Salad
Couscous meets hummus in this delightful vegetarian dish. The couscous is tossed with pistachios, bell peppers, feta cheese, and other Mediterranean ingredients. It’s then topped with a dressing made from oil, vinegar, and hummus for a creamy, savory finish. Get our Mediterranean Couscous Salad recipe.
6. White Sturgeon with Couscous and Spicy Eggplant
When it’s time for couscous to take center stage, sturgeon comes to the rescue. It’s a firm, meaty white fish that is seared and then served over steamed couscous and spicy, chile-scented eggplant. Feel free to substitute your favorite fish if sturgeon isn’t available. Get our White Sturgeon with Couscous and Spicy Eggplant recipe.
7. Toasted Israeli Couscous with Dates, Almonds, Cinnamon, and Parsley
Toasting the couscous imparts a nutty, deep flavor that compliments the sweet dates and verdant parsley in this pilaf. Feel free to add your own favorite flavors here – raisins, cilantro, and pistachios would all be delicious here. Get our Toasted Israeli Couscous with Dates, Almonds, Cinnamon, and Parsley recipe.
Sarah Spigelman Richter is a New York City–based writer, blogger, and social media manager. She has developed recipes for Tabasco, blogs about her favorite restaurants and recipes at Fritos and Foie Gras, and can be found, most Friday nights, watching "Arrested Development" reruns.