I swear, couscous is the lazy vegetarian foodie's best friend. Five minutes to cook - you've gotta love it. The other night, I invented a recipe involving couscous, artichoke hearts and butter beans that turned out rather well. Now let's see if I can get through this post without my beloved cat somehow making me exit the Internet, which is what he did the last time I tried to post this recipe.
One note - I am not so scientific in my spice measurements, tending to do a dash of this, a couple pinches of that, and once or twice around the pot with the salt or pepper grinders. So I've attempted to put approximate teaspoon or tablespoon measurements, but you'll have to judge according to your own taste. Also, we tend to like things a little spicy, so of course a bit of adjustment is a good thing for your own preferences anyway.
Couscous with Artichoke Hearts, Butter Beans and Pine Nuts
1/2 c couscous
1/2 c water
2 t olive oil
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder, if desired
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained
1/4 c pine nuts, lightly toasted
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
fresh ground black pepper to taste
fresh ground sea salt to taste
dash of cayenne pepper (~ 1/8 tsp)
pinch of marjoram (~ 1/8 tsp)
healthy pinch of sage (~ 1/4 tsp)
a couple dashes dill weed (~ 1/4 tsp)
lot of basil (~ 1 tsp dried)
whole lot of oregano (~ 2 tsp dried)
1-2 spring onions, sliced (optional)
Mix couscous, water, olive oil and mustard powder (or whatever other spice you prefer) together and put on to boil. As soon as steam starts escaping the pot, remove from heat and let sit at least five minutes. (Fluff the couscous with a fork before serving.)
Heat olive oil several minutes over medium heat, then reduce heat to medium low. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and let simmer til the garlic is golden and smells delicious. Either lightly toast pine nuts in a toaster oven or add to the olive oil to toast. Once you've pulled the couscous off the heat, add the butter beans and artichoke hearts to the olive oil and garlic. Add all the remaining spices, except the salt, and stir it up. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste. Wait until the very end to mix in the spring onions, they are most flavorful uncooked.