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Monday, June 06, 2011

Green Couscous with Hemp Seeds & Raw Garlic

I discovered Yotam Ottolenghi and his dashing, fresh, crisp and delicious recipes in the Life & Style section of The Guardinan, or to be more precise, in his "The New Vegetarian" column and that was love at first site & bite :)

I am not a vegetarian myself, but I eat a lot of veggies - I prefer them raw, grilled, or stir-fried, sometimes oven-baked, but hardly ever boiled "Eastern European style", if you know what I mean. I love simple, yet surprising combinations, light and healthy with a touch of wild, intense, and nutty flavours. So you can imagine why I became a feverish reader of both the column and the blog and I couldn't wait till I received Plenty and Ottolenghi The Cookbook by courier. So excited :) - my heart was racing flicking though the two cookbooks, being totally wowed & overwhelmed, and saying to myself: what an amazing idea, this is great fusion, this is a delicious dish, I'm drooling :))

Hope you'll be drooling now as well as I am about to share with you my take on Green Couscous from Plenty.

Green Couscous with Hemp Seeds & Green Garlic
Adapted from Plenty

Type of cuisine: Fusion/Vegetarian/Low Fat

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes


3/4 cup of medium-grain couscous

4 tbs of hemp seeds

1 small onion

3 spring onions

2 green garlic shoots

a small bunch of fresh mint leaves

a bunch of parsley

1/2 tsp of freshly ground cumin 


a pinch of (Camargue) salt

extra virgin olive oil

hot water 


Put the couscous, the hemp seeds and the ground cumin in a large bowl, sprinkle some salt and drizzle some olive oil over, then cover with boiling water and set aside. 

Fry the chopped onion until it turns slightly golden. 

Place the mint, parsley, spring onions, green garlic, and some olive oil in the food processor to make the herb paste. Keep some parsley and spring onions aside to chop up later for decoration.


Add the green paste, the fried onion and some crushed pistachios to the fluffy couscous, mix, season with extra salt, if necessary, and decorate with the remaining greens. 

Couscous is not only a staple food throughout the Northern African continent and the Middle East, but it is also a staple and a fixture in my kitchen. It's so versatile and playful that I am constantly surprised to discover new combinations all the time: classic tagine with couscous, chickpeas and sweet roasted vegetables, couscous with butter, parsley and pomegranate seeds, sweet couscous with light agave syrup and caramelized figs, and the list can go on. Couscous is simple, healthy and so very gourmet that it has - in time - earned a diva status in my kitchen.

Here are some beautiful zoomed-in photos that I have taken for you from Plenty and The Cookbook that will probably pop out of the screen and make you ... so hungry :)

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