Toasted Coconut Couscous
Couscous is a deliciously versatile grain that comes in a variety of textures and flavors. Whole wheat couscous has a bit of a nutty flavor, while Israeli couscous has a much milder flavor. You can find my favorite recipe for a vegan Israeli couscous salad here.
For health, I always try to choose whole grain options when they are available, and whole wheat couscous is now so easy to find. I buy mine (along with almost all my other favorite grains and legumes, dried fruit and nuts) in the bulk bin at Whole Foods — this quinoa salad, this Greek wheat berry salad, this kale, butternut squash and lentil salad and this granola. The bulk bin inspired list goes on and on!
I was craving a sweet and salty pairing for a simple lunch side, and this toasted coconut couscous was the perfect addition to my plate. It goes without saying that I love nuts and fruit together, so the peanuts and cherries were a bit of an obvious choice for me. But the coconut, oh the coconut! It adds so much flavor! And the toasty crunch. Perfection!
Ingredients for 2-4 servings:
1/2 cup dry whole wheat couscous
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp unsweetened dried cherries
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
Salt + pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add couscous and cook until soft and the grain has absorbed the water
2. In a nonstick skillet, toast coconut over low heat until just light brown and fragrant
3. When couscous is almost cooked, add dried cherries to the pot and allow them to plump, drain any excess water
4. In a medium bowl, combine couscous with cherries, olive oil, half the toasted coconut and half the crushed peanuts, season with salt + pepper
5. Plate the couscous and top with remaining coconut and peanuts, serve immediately
How do you like to prepare couscous at home? What are your favorite add-ins? I’d love to hear from you, so please share your favs in the comments below! Hope you enjoy…