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Couscous with Hazelnuts

Couscous with Hazelnuts, Figs and Feta

Couscous: It's a type of whole-wheat or regular pasta, which, when soaked in hot liquid for 5 minutes, gets tender and fluffy. A staple in Northern Africa, couscous is typically served to soak up the spicy flavors of chicken, lamb and vegetables stews made with many combinations of nutrient-rich vegetables (like carrots, eggplant, onion, sweet potato, tomatoes, turnips and zucchini). A versatile ingredient, couscous also can be made into delectable desserts when sprinkled with almonds, cinnamon and sugar or prepared with dates, sesame seeds and honey.

Ingredients:  couscous
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry whole wheat or regular couscous
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts *
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh or dried figs **
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped mint

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
  2. Add broth and orange juice. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add cloves, cinnamon and, if desired, saffron. Stir.
  4. Add couscous, remove from heat and allow to sit for about 5 minutes, allowing couscous to absorb the liquid. 
  5. When couscous is cooked, stir in hazelnuts, figs and remaining 2 tablespoon olive oil.
  6. Fluff with a fork, season with salt, and top with crumbled feta cheese and chopped mint.

Cooking Notes

* Substitute any toasted nuts, such as almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, or walnuts.

** Substitute dates, apricots, or dried plums (prunes).

Makes 6 servings (3/4 cup)

Per serving: 410 cal, 19 g fat, 53 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, 9 g fiber, 230 mg sodium