Moroccan Cous Cous with Blackened Red Pepper, Olives, Apricot and Toasted Pine Nuts
Last weekend I threw a dinner party at my apartment for six of my lovely friends. Work has become increasingly busy as we head into wedding & events season (I’ll be helping seven awesome couples get married and four teens get bar/bat mitzvahed over the next three months), so I wanted to get people together for one last hurrah until I have more free time again in July. I made a giant feast of Mediterranean & Middle Eastern inspired meze.
On my search for ingredients, I visited Kalustyan’s in Flatiron. The store is incredible and full of any sort of specialty item you could imagine and I’m in love.
This cous cous dish is a nice balance of savory and sweet and can be tossed together as a nice side, or served layered like I did.
2 cups cooked Moroccan Cous Cous (follow instructions on the box or bag. Use olive oil instead of butter if vegan) 1 large Red Pepper 1/2 cup Dried Apricot 1/8 cup Moroccan Olives 1/8 cup Pine Nuts Cilantro (optional) 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil Salt to taste
Prepare cous cous as you’re prepping the other ingredients (should take about 10 minutes max. Preheat oven to 350. Toast pine nuts on a baking pan until they start to brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Remove top and seeds from the red pepper and cut into large pieces. Toss with olive oil and season with salt. Grill on a stovetop grill until soft and starting to blacken, grilling both sides of the pepper. Remove from heat, chop into small pieces and put into a small bowl. Chop olives (removing pits) and toss with the red pepper. Chop up dried apricots into small pieces. If using cilantro, chop into small pieces. In a bowl toss cous cous with apricots, pine nuts and cilantro. Season with salt. Spoon cous cous onto plate or into a bowl and top with red pepper and olives. You can toss everything together if you’d prefer. Serve warm.