One of our favorite dishes has been Israeli Couscous for some time. So when I had an opportunity to attend a potluck style Shabbat dinner this past Friday, there was no reason for me to speculate what to cook.
Couscous typically appears as very tiny rounded seminola balls. Israeli couscous, conversely, is comprised of smaller wheat balls. In Israel, Israeli couscous is known as Ptitim. Couscous is often prepared with spices, herbs, fruits, and veggies, I usually combine it all! This time around; however, I added pine nuts for heartiness.
Not to brag, but the Israeli Couscous was a hit. Many people kept going back for more, and complimented me on the comprehensiveness of the dish , (“Wow, this has fruits, nuts, AND vegetables??”). 😀 Of course, many people could not believe the dish was Vegan AND Kosher! Wow!
I prepared the meal to serve quite a few people. The recipe below is enough for about 3 servings. Enjoy!
**Vegan Israeli Couscous**
What you’ll need:
1 box Israeli Couscous ( I like the brand from Trader Joe’s)
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup pine nuts (I know, I know, they’re kind of pricey, but soooo good!)
1/2 cup cubed pieces of eggplant
1 tablespoon cinnamon or 1 large cinnamon stick (if you use the stick, still sprinkle in some cinnamon powder)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced parsley
3 tablespoons Vegan butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest (just take a fresh lemon, and squeeze the juice into the teaspoon)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Melt one tablespoon butter in a small pot on low heat. Add the pine nuts, simmer until browned, turn off heat. You will add the pine nuts to the rest of the food after everything else has finished cooking.
Melt other two tablespoons of butter into a large pot on low heat. Add the cinnamon/cinnamon stick. Once melted, add the vegetable broth and turn heat to high. Once boiling, add the box of couscous. (The box usually is about 2 cups couscous, fyi) Add the eggplant and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about five minutes and add the cranberries. Cook for another five minutes, or until everything is tender. Once finished, turn off heat, add the parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Add the pine nuts, stir everything together.
This dish is great with greek yogurt and hummus!