Saturday, August 9, 2008

Israeli Couscous with Pistachios and Apricots

Serves 4. Takes 40 minutes.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
Several pinches of black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Zest from one lime
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, to size of raisins
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
Juice from 1/2 lime

Preheat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. Place the garlic and oil in the pan and saute for 1 minutes. Add the couscous, raise the heat to medium and stir pretty constantly for 4 to 5 minutes; the couscous should start to toast.

Add the water, cinnamon stick, cumin, cardamom, pepper, salt and lime zest. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat again to as low as possible and cover. In about 10 minutes, most of the water should have been absorbed. Add 2 tbsp mint, apricots, pistachios and lime juice. Stir, cover again and cook for 5 more minutes. At this point, the water should be thoroughly absorbed. Remove the cinnamon stick, fluff the couscous and garnish with remaining mint.

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