Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Orange Couscous

This knock out side dish is almost too simple to be this good.  The citrus sweet tones go perfectly with grilled pork tenderloin.

Because of its short preparation time, couscous is perfect summer fare.  Steep the tiny pasta in boiled water for five minutes and the couscous blooms.  An infusion of orange juice, orange zest and basil gives the side a light, ethereal flavor that goes perfectly with any summer grilled main course.  A last minute toss with fresh chopped basil and toasted almonds and Orange Couscous is ready for company, hot or cold. 

Orange Couscous
Serves 4
¾ cup couscous
Zest of 1/2 orange
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium oranges (one juiced and the second peeled, pitted and sectioned)*
-juice of 1 medium orange plus enough  boiling water to equal 1 cup
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
5-6 basil leaves, chopped (julienned is nice)
*4 ounces store-bought OJ and a small can of drained mandarin oranges can be substituted)

  1. Place couscous, orange zest, salt and butter in a medium bowl.  
  2. Mix juice and honey with boiling water and pour over couscous. Stir to moisten all the pasta.  
  3. Cover bowl with a plate and let sit 5-7 minutes.  
  4. Remove plate and with a fork, fluff pasta.  
  5. Stir in basil and almonds.  Chop reserved orange segments into bite-sized pieces and stir into couscous.  Garnish with extra basil leaves.
Orange Couscous is also a match for grilled lamb, chicken or fish.