A flavorful and aromatic side dish made from pearl couscous with zucchini and herbs. Serve with any type of chicken, turkey, meat and seafood.
Side dishes are officially not here to steal the show, their function is to complement the entree, whatever it is. Having that said, some side dishes can do very well on their own, with or without some support.
COUSCOUS WITH ZUCCHINI & HERBS
Key Ingredients in This Recipe
This recipe requires just a few ingredients and a very short preparation and cooking time. You’ll be done in about 30 minutes.
- Pearl Couscous – also called Israeli couscous, similarities with Fregola, Mograbia (Lebanese couscous) and Moroccan couscous. Is it a pasta or a grain? Many call it a grain, but it is a pasta. Like the Italian pasta, couscous with North African roots is made from wheat that is moistened and tossed together until it forms little balls. Plain Italian pasta is made from wheat and water as well.
- Zucchini – also called courgette. A fruit that is considered a vegetable that is rich in vitamin B and C. For this recipe, I grated the zucchini and added it to the couscous without cooking it, just warming it. Keeping some of the crunchiness alive.
- Herbs – I used a combination of thyme, rosemary and parsley. How much is a matter of taste. Thyme and rosemary have a strong flavor and aroma, so be careful not to add too much. Adding fresh herbs to any dish will elevate it. It may take some experimenting how much to use to obtain your favorite blend.
How to make Couscous with Zucchini & Herbs
For this simple flavorful recipe you’ll need 4 steps.
- Cook the couscous according to the directions on the packaging. It will most likely be along the lines of 1 measure of couscous and 1-1.5 measure of water/stock and salt. Cook for 10 minutes and steam for 5-10 minutes.
- Shred the zucchini with a box grater. Transfer to a colander and allow to drain.
- Finely chop the herbs.
- Mix the zucchini, butter, lemon juice and herbs with the couscous and allow to warm. Do not cook as that may lead to the zucchini letting go a lot of moisture.
Alternatives and Substitutes
- Orzo and rice or Moroccan couscous (the smaller, yellow version) are alternatives.
- Yellow summer squash can be a substitute for zucchini or use them together.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can use dry herbs. Please adjust the amount you use: 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.
What to serve with Couscous with Zucchini & Herbs
Top a bed of couscous with:
- A well-spiced turkey breast
- Grilled salmon or shrimp
- Roasted vegetables
Couscous with Zucchini & Herbs
- 1/2 cup couscous pearl
- 1.5 cups stock vegetable
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small zucchini grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs rosemary, thyme, parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
- Bring broth or water to a boil in a medium pot.
- Add the couscous, stir and simmer for 10 minutes (NOTE 1)
- Take the pan off the heat.
- Add the butter, grated zucchini, lemon juice and chopped fresh herbs. Mix and allow to warm and let the couscous steam for 5-10 minutes (lid on). Do not cook anymore. (NOTE 2)
- Mix, add salt & pepper to taste.
- Drizzle with some olive oil. (optional)
- Use the ratio liquid : couscous as per the packaging. Different brands have different degrees of ‘instant’ and may thus vary in amount of liquid needed and cooking time.
- If you don’t have fresh herbs, you can substitute with the dried version. 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs equals 1 teaspoon of dried herbs.