Crazy for Pearl Couscous

It was one of those amazing fall weekends where the sun comes up early and you have nothing better to do than play in the sunshine. I took advantage of our beautiful fall weekend, catching up on blog posts on the patio, planting some herbs and rolling around town with the windows down. It’s going to be a busy work week ahead — including a few events and travel — so I was more than thrilled for a little R&R. My hubby was out of town for the weekend which meant girl time, movie watching, shopping and listening to the wedding station on Pandora at full-blast. Hope you all had a weekend full of all kinds of happy things too!

While I spent most of the weekend enjoying restaurants and non-diety foods, I relish the weeknights in that call for a hearty home-cooked dinner that doesn’t take too much time and leaves your belly warm. Thanks to a recent get-together at a friend’s house, I was introduced to a new dish that I adore… pearl couscous.

couscous

I’ve had couscous before but it was Israeli couscous, which to me has a much grainier texture. Pearl couscous reminds me more of orzo pasta and it actually has many of the same qualities in that it takes on the flavors that you incorporate into the dish. But since we rarely eat starches and carby foods at home, this is a nice alternative that doesn’t feel as heavy as a bowl of pasta. I picked up a box at my local Whole Foods and the cooking process is incredibly similar to rice or quinoa. Plus, I love versatile options that allow you to throw things together at the last minute with whatever you happen to have in your pantry or fridge.

If you know how to boil water, you’re set. Yes, it’s really that easy. My most recent combo was Mediterranean-inspired with some kalamata olives, half of a sweet onion and freshly roasted garlic. After sauteing these ingredients together, I combined with pearl couscous which I had boiled in chicken broth. (PS, using chicken broth as your boiling liquid instead of water is a great way to infuse your couscous with delicious flavor from the get-go.) I topped with a little grated Parmesan cheese and voila, dinnertime! Do you use couscous in your kitchen?