Couscous is a versatile and delightful dish that originated in North Africa but has gained popularity worldwide. It is made from tiny granules of durum wheat or semolina and can be prepared in various ways.
In this recipe, we will explore how to make couscous in a flavorful vegetable tomato sauce, creating a hearty and satisfying meal. This recipe showcases the richness of flavors and the nutritional benefits of combining couscous with a medley of fresh vegetables.
To make this delicious couscous in vegetable tomato sauce, you will need the following ingredients:
1 cup of RiceSelect Pearl Couscous (link: how to make couscous)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can (14 ounces) of crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley for garnish
Now let’s dive into the preparation of this delectable couscous in vegetable tomato sauce:
Cook the Couscous
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the RiceSelect Pearl Couscous and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. This usually takes around 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Prepare the Vegetable Tomato Sauce
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic, sautéing until they become translucent and fragrant.
Add the diced red bell pepper and zucchini to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften.
Stir in the halved cherry tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, and dried basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
Combine the Couscous and Vegetable Tomato Sauce
Add the cooked couscous to the skillet with the vegetable tomato sauce. Gently toss everything together until the couscous is evenly coated with the sauce.
Continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the couscous to absorb some of the flavors from the sauce.
Serve and Garnish
Transfer the couscous to a serving dish or individual plates. Garnish with fresh parsley for an extra burst of freshness and flavor.
Enjoy your delicious homemade couscous in vegetable tomato sauce!
Nutritional Benefits of Couscous in Vegetable Tomato Sauce
This couscous recipe offers a range of nutritional benefits. Couscous itself is a good source of complex carbohydrates, providing a sustained release of energy. It is also low in fat and contains essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium, and B vitamins.
The vegetable tomato sauce adds a wealth of nutrients, including antioxidants, dietary fiber, and vitamins A and C. Bell peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes are all packed with vitamins and minerals, promoting overall health and well-being. Additionally, the combination of whole grains and vegetables creates a balanced and satisfying meal.
Secrets to Enhance the Flavor
To take your couscous in vegetable tomato sauce to the next level, here are a few secrets:
- Use homemade vegetable stock instead of water to cook the couscous for added flavor.
- Experiment with different herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences. Cumin, paprika, or even a pinch of cinnamon can add depth and complexity to the dish.
- Consider adding a touch of lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors and add a refreshing twist.
Couscous in vegetable tomato sauce is a complete and filling meal on its own. However, if you wish to enhance your dining experience, here are a few accompaniments that pair well with this dish:
Grilled chicken or roasted shrimp: These protein options complement the couscous and add a savory element.
Roasted vegetables: Prepare a medley of roasted vegetables, such as eggplant, carrots, and cauliflower, to serve alongside the couscous.
Greek yogurt: A dollop of creamy Greek yogurt on top of the couscous can provide a cool and tangy contrast.
Variations of this Dish Exploring Culinary Creativity
Couscous in vegetable tomato sauce is a versatile dish that lends itself to a variety of delicious variations. Let your culinary creativity run wild as you experiment with different ingredients and flavors. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:
Give your couscous a Mediterranean flair by adding ingredients such as Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and fresh herbs like mint or parsley. The briny olives and tangy cheese will elevate the flavors, creating a vibrant and refreshing dish.
If you enjoy a little heat, consider adding some chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the vegetable tomato sauce. You can also incorporate diced jalapeños or spicy sausage for an extra kick. This variation adds a fiery element to the dish, satisfying those with a penchant for spice.
Embrace the traditional flavors of Moroccan cuisine by incorporating spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. You can also add raisins, apricots, or dates for a touch of sweetness. This variation will transport you to the bustling markets of Marrakech with its rich and aromatic profile.
To make the dish more substantial, consider adding protein-rich ingredients such as chickpeas, diced chicken, or tofu. These additions will not only provide extra nutritional value but also add a heartier texture to the couscous.
If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The couscous in vegetable tomato sauce will stay fresh for up to 3 days. When reheating, add a splash of water or vegetable broth to moisten the couscous, as it can dry out during storage.
Learning how to make couscous in vegetable tomato sauce opens up a world of flavors and nutritional benefits. This recipe combines the wholesome goodness of couscous with the vibrant flavors of fresh vegetables, resulting in a satisfying and healthy meal.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is sure to impress your family and friends. So grab a box of RiceSelect Pearl Couscous and get ready to create a culinary masterpiece!