Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots

I don't even know what to say. The mere name of this recipe makes me salivate. I had to try it. And it was delicious.

Israeli couscous, that fun-sized pasta/grain that is oh so versatile, strikes again. Today it is commingling with fresh apricots and crunchy pistachios, along with fresh mint, lime, and fragrant spices. It's like a Middle Eastern festival in your kitchen. The original recipe called for dried apricots, but I figured while fresh ones are still in season, we ought to take advantage. You can certainly substitute dried if you make this at a time of year when fresh is not available.

This dish works well as a main course, side dish, or salad. Serve at any temperature you like. I can promise you, it will be good, it will be different, and it will be gone before you know it.

Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots
adapted from Veganomicon
serves 2


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 small (or 1 large) cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 1/4 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch ground cardamom
salt and pepper to taste
zest from 1 small lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 small apricots, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
juice from 1/2 small lime


1. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low. Add oil and garlic, and saute for one minute. Add couscous, raise heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until couscous starts to get golden brown and toasty. (This seriously amps up the flavor. Don't skip this step!)

2. Add water, cinnamon stick, cumin, cardamom, pepper, salt, and lime zest. Raise heat and bring to a boil. When it's boiling, lower heat to low and cover with a lid. Let cook for about 8 minutes, or until most (but not all) of the water is absorbed. Stir in the mint, apricots, pistachios, and lime juice, and cover again. Cook for about 4 more minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.

3. Remove cinnamon stick, fluff couscous with a fork, and serve.



  1. This one sounds blissful - my mouth is watering ......... I bet it smells wonderful too.

  2. Hi Laura! This recipe looks great! I love LOVE couscous. I have a picture of you and Joy that we took on our camera. Did you take any? Want it? Let me know what your email is so I can send if your way. Take care,

  3. I mixed in a couple of large handfuls of baby spinach at the end and just left it on the heat long enough to wilt. Made a great main course for 2 people that way.

  4. I'm at my office and just realized I want to try this recipe tonight (I have the book and just bought Israeli couscous the other day) but didn't know what ingredients I should buy at the store on the way home. So your blog came in handy, thanks for posting!