Sometimes you come home from a long day at work (or jury duty, as the case may be) and you really don't have the energy to spend more than about 15 minutes making dinner. There is definitely a temptation to reach for the phone and call for some takeout, but if you have a few ingredients on hand you can probably make something much healthier and more rewarding for yourself.
Case in point. This is a meal with very few ingredients, yet it has complex flavors and is incredibly satisfying. One non-pedestrian vegetable, one fluffy little grain, and an optional salty meat component - plus a few basic pantry staples - and you're set. I say the meat is optional because it is there more for extra flavor than anything else. This can easily be converted into a vegetarian dish.
Feel free to downgrade this to a side dish, but if you heap it into a bowl and plop down with a fork, you won't need anything else.
Broccoli Rabe and Couscous
adapted from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express
1 cup low sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth
3/4 cup couscous
1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons diced prosciutto (optional)
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1. In a small pot, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the couscous, turn off the heat, and cover. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, bring a larger pot of water to a boil. Salt it and add the broccoli rabe. Blanch for about 2 minutes, just until crisp tender, then drain. Chop the broccoli rabe into bite-sized pieces.
3. While the couscous is cooking, also heat the diced prosciutto in a small skillet over medium heat, if using, until sizzling and slightly browned.
4. Stir the broccoli rabe and prosciutto into the couscous. Add salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, and lemon juice, and stir everything together. Serve.