Couscous is a traditional Berber dish from Africa. It is made from tiny granules of steamed durum wheat. Many historians argue that couscous predates the pasta we enjoy today, with references to couscous dating back as far as the 10th century. Although there is a debate as to whether couscous originated in West Africa or North Africa, there is no question that couscous is considered a Moroccan specialty.
Kalamata olives, garlic, and saffron provide an authentic touch to this vegan recipe. Serve with my Meaty Nutloaf and a fresh garden salad.
2 cups couscous (cooked)
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 leek – white and pale green parts only (chopped fine)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
2 fennel bulbs (chopped fine)
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups shelled fresh or frozen peas
1 cup vegetable broth
4 plum tomatoes (chopped)
2 .25-gram packages saffron threads
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups baby arugula leaves
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives (chopped)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (garnish)
Fresh basil leaves (garnish)
Prepare dry couscous according to package directions. Set aside.
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek, garlic, and fennel. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in wine and cook one minute to deglaze the pan. Add peas. Let wine reduce for one minute more, and then add broth. Add couscous, tomatoes, and saffron. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let stand 5 minutes, and then stir in arugula. Remove from heat.
To serve, garnish with olives, olive oil, and basil leaves.