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Gulf Coast Peach-Pecan Couscous

Serves 6

4 cups water or vegetable stock
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 17 1/2-ounce box precooked couscous
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup dried peaches, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Zest of one orange, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Bring the water or vegetable stock to a boil.

In a heat-resistant pan, heat the olive oil and add the couscous, stirring to coat the grains, and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour in the boiling water or stock, 2 teaspoons of salt, and stir. Cover and set aside to “steam” for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the grains with a fork. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the pecans on a cookie sheet and toast until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool. Meanwhile, prepare the peaches, ginger, orange zest and herbs. When the couscous reaches room temperature, mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Source: Coastal Cooking with John Shields (Broadway, 2004)


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