File this one under that rare trifecta of “quick, cheap and healthy.” Mark Bittman’s recipe involves dry roasting walnuts and cooking the couscous with the broccoli in olive oil before adding broth or water to properly cook it. This recipe is remarkably easy and requires very little at the store, assuming you have a well-stocked pantry. It won’t take more than 20 minutes to cook and for a dish as healthy as it undoubtedly is, it’s damn satisfying.
Couscous with Broccoli and Walnuts
Makes about 4 servings (or a little more than 2 generous servings)
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
broccoli (a few stalks worth should do – chop it up into bite-sized pieces)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, white wine or water (we used chicken stock)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
bread crumbs (Panko is best)
1. Heat a dry deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add walnuts and cook, stirring constantly, until toasted and fragrant, just a few minutes. Remove them from the pan and set aside to cool. Return the pan to the heat and add the olive oil.
2. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and beginning to color, about 2 minutes or less. Add the brocolli and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until it is coated in the oil and starts to pop and sputter in the pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in the couscous and keep stirring until it’s also coated in oil and starts to toast, another 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat down very low. Cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Chop the walnuts and finely as you can. Add them along with parsley and fluff gently with a fork. Return to the lid and turn off the heat. Let the couscous rest for a minute or two, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately, garnished with bread crumbs.