Sweetie’s CousCous

Recipes like this are what make cooking so much fun. You take 5 or 6 ingredients you love and mix em together and BOOM! you have a delicious and unique dish that somehow just works so well. A little bit of sweet, something salty, a tasty carb, something of texture with a crunch, and don’t ever forget your veggies.
This dish was just WOW. That’s all I kept thinking through the whole process. As I was preparing the layers, and tasting each one of course, I kept thinking there is going to be nothing left to eat. I couldn’t stop myself. Everything I prepped was WOW. I made this dish for my sweetie of course, hence the name. The entire pot was emptied by the time I got home. Good thing I did so much taste testing in prep because I didn’t get even a spoonful of the finished product. My sweetie ate every last couscous and that was the greatest compliment of all.

1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous (ptitim) – note this is a larger grain than the better known couscous that’s made of semolina flour.
2 medjool dates – diced into small bites
1 bag Brussels Sprouts – sliced
1/2 cup chopped roasted & salted cashews
1 tablespoon goat cheese (you can also use a salty cashew cheese to keep it vegan)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper, Tumeric, Cumin, Onion Powder
So, remember there are lots of layers to this dish. I’ll share each layer separately and we’ll mix them all up at the end but you could do these layers simultaneously. Be efficient. Bounce around your kitchen. Make it fun!
Layer 1: Couscous
I had never prepared Israeli couscous before and it wasn’t as easy as the other smaller version. Follow the directions on the box. Add your seasonings to the liquid so they are absorbed in the grain. I love turmeric because it gives it this beautiful yellow color that is appealing to me. You could use any spices that you love. Or just salt & pepper.
Layer 2: Brussels Sprouts
I used almost the same recipe as my balsamic glazed brussels sprouts which you can see here
Slice off the ends of your brussels sprouts and remove the ugly outer leaves, slice them into thin pieces, they will shred a little, that’s okay and actually preferred. Those shredded pieces will get nice and crispy in the oven.
Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and place on a baking tray. Pop in the oven at 375 for about 15 – 20 minutes. Remove halfway and give them a toss so you get a good color on all sides. (this is the point where I started drooling, you will too)
Once they are cooked toss them in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The original recipe calls for honey/maple syrup but you’ll get so much sweetness from your dates so skip that part here. Toss them around, get them coated, resist eating/tasting the whole bowl, and set aside.
Layer 3: Medjool Dates
This part is easy peazy. Remove the pit, and dice into small small pieces. Set aside.
Layer 4: Cashews
This part doesn’t even matter if you buy your cashews already chopped. If you didn’t… chop your roasted salted cashews and set aside.
Layer 5: Goat Cheese
This layer will add the salty creaminess that will balance out those sweet dates. You can opt for a cashew cheese as well. I’ve tasted some cashew cheeses that, dare I say it, tasted even better than goat cheese. Hit up your local whole foods and browse around. If you go that route your dish is VEGAN and you’re automatically a winner!
Start adding all your layers into the pot of couscous, one at a time.
Save a little of each for garnish at the end. This dish deserves a glass of wine. Something red and bold.
Have a gourmet weekday!
Originally Posted on: January 15, 2015

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