Versatile Couscous

Versatile Couscous.jpg

Makes 4-6 servings. 

In this dish the couscous is not steamed or cooked; it is hydrated with boiling water and combined with nutritious ingredients.

It pairs very well with most meat dishes and is particularly good with salmon. It even improves with time.


  • 1 cup couscous

  • 4 tablespoons dried currants

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula (about 2 ounces) some stems discarded

  • 1/3 cup pignolia nuts, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, approx


  1. In a large bowl place the couscous, currants, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon oil.  

  2. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the couscous. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

  3. Fluff the couscous with a fork. 

  4. Add the parsley, arugula, 4 tablespoons oil, pignolia nuts and lime juice. Toss well and season to taste with lime juice salt and pepper.


French Lentils and Couscous

Makes 6-8 first course servings.

8-10 side dish servings.

This dish is highly nutritious and quick to prepare since the lentils do not require presoaking. The dried fruits and nuts give it extra flavor and texture.  

If you are serving this dish as a first course you may want to add some dressed greens. Whichever way you serve it I recommend eating it at room temperature or warm.


  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup blanched sliced almonds, toasted
  • 10 dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup currants or raisins
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice, approx
  • 15 full sprigs of dill, snipped with scissors (See note)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place lentils and 1 ¼ cups of water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. (If the lentils are not ready and all of the water is absorbed add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water and continue cooking.)
  2. Transfer the lentils to a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Rinse the same saucepan and bring 1 cup of water to a boil, sprinkle the couscous over the water, lower the heat and cook for about 7 minutes. The water should be absorbed.  Remove from the heat and let couscous stand, covered, for another 5 minutes. The couscous should be cooked. Fluff with a fork and combine with the lentils.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, almonds, apricots, raisins/currants, dill, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Season to taste.


Leftovers will require extra dill, which loses its flavor very quickly and extra seasoning which refrigeration will alter.

If you happen to have leftover dried fruits, they freeze very well.