Daily Archives: April 27, 2007

A fridge full of nothing

Yesterday was one of those days: I opened the fridge, peered in, and saw nothing to eat. I looked closer, bent at the waist, momentarily believing that sticking my entire head in might help me see things in a new light. I saw broccoli rabe and sausages and great globe artichokes, asparagus and salad greens and half a pound of bacon, but nothing sounded like the lunch I needed. So I closed the fridge.

I came back five minutes later. I laughed at myself when I realized I was disappointed no one had gone grocery shopping for me while I opened the mail.

Finally, finally, I spotted a half-used jar of sundried tomatoes. And oh how they hit the spot.

Herbed Israeli Couscous with Sundried Tomatoes 1

Recipe for Herbed Israeli Couscous with Sundried Tomatoes
Recipe 117 of 365

Israeli couscous, also called Middle Eastern couscous and a relative of Sardinian fregola, is a larger, chewier version of regular couscous, often made with wheat flour rather than semolina flour. It cooks quickly, which makes it an ideal weeknight side dish. Serve this as is, or use it as a base for a larger meal, stirring in cooked chicken or vegetables, or topping it with, say, a meaty tomato sauce.

Look for Israeli couscous in the bulk bins of a health food store or the ethnic food aisle of a larger conventional grocery store.

TIME: 15 minutes
MAKES: 2 to 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (from a jar, typically packed in oil)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil, then the onion, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic, couscous, rosemary, and thyme, and stir to combine and coat all the couscous grains with the oil. Cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the grains begin to look lightly toasted.

Add 1 cup of the broth, and simmer for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Add half of the remaining broth, simmer again for a few minutes, and then the rest of the broth, simmering until all the liquid has been soaked up. (Taste the grains for doneness – they should be tender. If they’re still a little hard in the center, add a bit of water and cook a few more minutes.)

Season the couscous to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the sundried tomatoes. Serve hot.

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