This may have been another Easter side dish, but my fork kept gravitating to it on my plate, as if it were the main dish. We dressed couscous up for spring with peas, cumin seeds (ground in a mortar and pestle), fresh mint from the garden, refreshing pea shoots (I love how much delicate pea flavor is concentrated in the shoot), and a scattering of crunchy almonds. It would be delicious on its own for lunch, with kabobs, salmon, or ham for dinner … ok, pretty much anything! The measurements aren’t specific because depending on how much couscous you make, you add the other ingredients in proportion to that, using your own judgment.
Lemony Couscous with Peas, Mint, and Pea Shoots:
1 package of couscous
ground cumin seed
fresh mint, chopped
fresh or frozen peas
salt & pepper
a splash of tangerine (or orange) juice
almonds, roughly chopped
- Cook the couscous according to package directions, adding some olive oil or butter along with the hot water. When it’s ready, fluff with a fork and set aside.
- In a large serving bowl, toss in some sliced green onion, snow peas that have been cut in half, some ground cumin seed, chopped fresh mint, and the juice of a lemon.
- Add the couscous (it’s ok if it’s still warm) to the bowl, and a few handfuls of peas. Gently combine. Taste and add more lemon juice. Season with salt & pepper. (Can be refrigeratred overnight at this point, covered).
- Just before serving, add a splash of tangerine juice to the couscous salad and gently stir. Arrange the pea shoots around the bowl. Sprinkle some chopped almonds on top.
Couscous making its debut next to the Easter ham.