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Recipe #163: Couscous with Zucchini & Fresh Herbs

Posted Aug 15 2010 6:14pm
Couscous with Zucchini & Fresh Herbs

1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c. zucchini, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 tsp. garlic, peeled & finely minced
1/2 c. couscous
1 c. water
1 Tbsp. fresh chervil
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley
1 tsp. fresh marjoram leaves, tightly packed
1/2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves, tightly packed
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1/2 Tbsp. fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly shredded Parmigiano-Regiano or Asiago
1/2 Tbsp. pignoli/pine nuts

Directions: Sauté zucchini in olive oil on medium-low heat in a 12-13" sauté pan until crisp & light golden brown around the edges. Then add garlic & cook for 1-2 more minutes, being careful not to burn garlic. Garlic should be cooked until soft, not golden brown. Transfer zucchini & garlic to a plate & set aside. Add 1/2 c. water & turn up heat to high until water reaches a rolling boil. Add couscous & immediately turn off burner. Cover with a lid & steam for 5 minutes, until water has been completely absorbed. While couscous is steaming, toast pignoli nuts in a toaster until light golden brown, if desired. Watch them very carefully, as they can burn very easily. When couscous has finished steaming, gently fluff it with a fork. Add remaining 1/2 c. water & all fresh spices. Turn heat back on to medium-low & cook until oregano & chervil are completely cooked through. (These spices tend to be the strongest, so it's important to adequately cook them.) Remove from heat, season with salt & pepper to taste. Quickly add lemon juice, & stir well to combine. Immediately sprinkle with cheese, to allow it to melt slightly. Garnish with pignoli nuts & additional parsley &/or basil. Serve hot & enjoy!

Yield: Serves 1-2 as a main course, or 3-4 as a side dish.

Variations: Yellow squash, sliced mushrooms &/or black olives would be a nice addition to this recipe. If you are adding these ingredients, be sure to add squash & mushrooms at the same time you cook the zucchini. Olives should be added at the same time as the fresh spices.

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