Sun-Kissed Couscous: Delicious Recipes For Every Season (NZ Edition)

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Couscous, the tiny, pearl-shaped pasta made from durum wheat semolina, is a staple in North African cuisine. But its versatility has seen it travel the globe, finding a warm welcome in kitchens worldwide, including New Zealand. With its quick cooking time and ability to soak up delicious flavors, couscous forms the base for an array of dishes, from refreshing salads to hearty stews.

This comprehensive guide dives into the wonderful world of couscous recipes NZ, equipping you with the knowledge and inspiration to create light and flavorful meals that will tantalize your taste buds. We’ll explore various ingredients readily available in New Zealand supermarkets, along with easy-to-follow directions and nutritional information.

Pesto & Cherry Tomato Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta & Almonds Quick Prep   Ready in   Serves
Pesto & Cherry Tomato Israeli Couscous Salad with Feta & Almonds Quick Prep Ready in Serves

Essential Ingredients for Couscous Delights

Before embarking on your culinary adventure, ensure you have these key ingredients on hand:

Couscous: Most supermarkets in New Zealand stock couscous. You’ll typically find two varieties: Moroccan (the finer kind) and Israeli (the pearl-shaped kind). Both work well in different recipes.

  • Olive Oil: A high-quality extra virgin olive oil adds a touch of magic to both the couscous itself and the dressing for salads.
  • Stock: Vegetable stock or chicken stock adds depth of flavor to savory couscous dishes.
  • Fresh Herbs: Parsley, mint, coriander (cilantro), and dill are fantastic choices for adding a burst of freshness to your couscous creations.
  • Vegetables: Diced tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum (bell pepper), courgettes (zucchini), eggplant – the possibilities are endless! Frozen vegetables are a convenient option.
  • Dried Fruits: Raisins, apricots, cranberries – these add a touch of sweetness and textural contrast.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Toasted almonds, pine nuts, or sunflower seeds add a delightful crunch and richness.
  • Spices: Cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon – a sprinkle of these can take your couscous to new flavor heights.
  • Protein (Optional): Seared chicken breast, grilled fish fillets, or chickpeas can transform a couscous dish into a complete meal.

  • Culinary Canvas: Easy Couscous Recipes NZ

    Now, let’s get cooking! Here are three mouthwatering recipes to get you started:

    1. Lemony Couscous Salad with Grilled Chicken

    This vibrant salad is perfect for a light lunch or a refreshing summer side dish.

    Ingredients:

    1 cup couscous (Moroccan or Israeli)

  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cucumber, diced
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. In a large bowl, combine couscous and boiling water. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes, or until the couscous is fluffy. Fluff with a fork.
    2. While the couscous cooks, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and zest in a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Add the chopped parsley, cucumber, red onion, and tomato to the fluffed couscous. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
    4. If using chicken, gently fold it into the salad.
    5. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

    Nutritional Facts (per serving without chicken):

    Calories: 250

  • Carbohydrates: 40g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Fat: 5g

  • 2. Moroccan Spiced Couscous with Roast Vegetables

    This dish is a fragrant journey to North Africa, bursting with warm spices and roasted vegetables.

    Ingredients:

    1 cup couscous (Israeli)

  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground paprika
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
    2. Toss diced onion, carrot, and zucchini with olive oil, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Spread on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
    3. Meanwhile, bring vegetable stock to a boil in a saucepan. Add couscous and stir once. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the couscous is fluffy. Fluff with a fork.
    4. Stir the roasted vegetables and chopped coriander into the cooked couscous. Season with salt and pepper to taste.