This is a great side dish to serve hot along side some meat or a curry! Or, you can cook this, let it cool down, and serve as a cold salad! This is great to take along with you on a picnic lunch as well, since it does not require refrigeration for a few hours like a meat would!
If you eat it hot, you won’t be able to resist the unbelievable creaminess that comes naturally in this dish – and with NO cream added in it! Try it out, and you’ll see just what I mean 😉 When I made this for friends, they kept asking me over and over if this was a risotto! 🙂 And boy were they happy to find out that it tasted just as good, but was much healthier than eating rice! 🙂
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup white (or yellow) onion, thinly sliced
1.5 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup of pine nuts (or pignolias)
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups pearled (or Israeli) cous cous [the one shown below is the exact brand I used]
2.5 cups of hot water (or you can use a broth of your choice!)
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Heat olive oil in pan and add sliced mushrooms, sliced onion, pine nuts, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes over medium heat until vegetables are tender. Be sure to stir every minute or so to ensure nothing burns (especially the nuts!)
Add cous cous and water. Bring to a boil. Now reduce heat to lowest setting. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until cous cous is cooked through.
Taste your creation (as all good cooks do!) and add additional salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Add fresh lemon juice if desired for an additional citrus dimension to the dish!
Variations: You can add freshly chopped parsley to this dish at the end – herbs are always wonderful! Also, another recipe that I simply LOVE that uses pearled cous cous in another way can be found HERE! <–click here for an amazing recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, SMITTEN KITCHEN!
Food Pairing: Cous cous is a wonderful, healthy alternative to rice and pairs fabulously with a protein like oven-roasted lamb or chicken. Also goes well with freshly steamed vegetables!