Couscous with Almonds

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When I’m looking at side dishes for my meals I generally have a handful of dishes I like to turn to.  I like making mashed potatoes, couscous, macaroni and cheese, roasted vegetables, or tossed salad.  Since I use these several time a week I have to make different variations of them so we don’t get tired of the same sides.

This week I had couscous on the menu.  I went searching through the Cook’s Illustrated online data base and I found a recipe that used couscous with a light sauce and almonds.  It sounded tasty and I had all the ingredients so I gave it a try.

The couscous was cooked in chicken broth which gave it additional flavor.  The shallots and garlic added additional flavor and the almonds gave it a nice crunch.  Parsley added a hint of color and the parmesan gave it a bite.  It was a surprisingly complex dish that tasted great.

Couscous with Almonds (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
2 T. butter
3 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 c. couscous
1 c. water
1 c. chicken broth
1 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c. parsley leaves, minced
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. fresh grated Parmesan

1.  Heat the butter in a medium pan over medium heat.  Add in the shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

2.  Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the couscous and cook for 5 minutes or until it is just starting to brown.  Add in the water, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.    Stir and then cover.  Remove from heat.

3.  Let the couscous stand for 8-10 minutes.  Uncover and fluff the couscous.

4.  Stir in the almonds, parsley, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese.  Serve hot.

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