Monday, August 1, 2011

Spinach & Artichoke Israeli Couscous

My husband loves couscous, and I love artichoke hearts, so naturally when I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try. Success. It was delicious and truly a perfect light summer meal (no oven necessary, you can make this entire dish stove top). I had never cooked with Israeli couscous before, so I did a little research about it, which is how I came across this recipe (and a wealth of information about Israeli couscous and couscous in general). I really love its bigger size and pasta taste. It is pretty similar to orzo pasta, which you can substitute in this dish if you can't find Israeli couscous. I added a grilled chicken breast (seasoned with lemon and grill seasonings) to our couscous dish, but you can certainly leave out the chicken (and substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock) to keep this meal vegetarian.

Spinach & Artichoke Israeli Couscous
recipe adapted from here

Ingredients:
4 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 small shallot, diced
2 cups Israeli couscous
2½ cups chicken stock
9 ounces (8 packed cups) fresh baby spinach
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 can (12 ounces) artichoke hearts (drained and quartered)
8 small grape tomatoes
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, sliced into strips
1½ Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
juice and zest of a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
if adding chicken:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
squeeze of lemon juice
Montreal Steak seasoning (or salt and pepper)

Directions:
If you are adding chicken, preheat a grill pan (or large saute pan, or even your outdoor grill) over medium high heat. and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Prepare the chicken by drizzling with lemon juice and steak seasoning on one side. Place seasoned side of chicken down in pan and season the other side (now face up). Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Set aside.
Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in another large sauce pan over medium heat. Add diced shallot and saute for four minutes. Add the couscous to the pan and saute for an additional three minutes or until lightly toasted. Stir in chicken stock. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for eight to 10 minutes.
Heat the remaining olive oil in another saute pan. Add spinach and garlic; sweat (cook in its own juices) until the spinach starts to wilt. Add the artichoke hearts, grape tomatoes and sun dried tomatoes. Cook for an additional two minutes. Remove from heat. This is what my stove top looked like with the three pans going, a little busy but totally do-able.
Lightly fluff the couscous with a fork. I love using fresh herbs when I have them on hand. This oregano is from my herb garden. Add vegetable mixture, oregano and lemon juice & zest to the couscous pan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well and adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve with sliced grilled chicken over the top.
Squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top of the chicken if you like lemon as much as me.
Enjoy! This tasted great as cold leftovers the next day for lunch too!

1 comment:

  1. YUM! I don't have any couscous but I do have some orzo, so maybe I will try with that. I also love quinoa... you think you could use that instead?

    This looks so yummy. I love love love artichoke hearts and I rarely cook with them.

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