Pine nuts, currants, and zucchini liven up couscous for a versatile side dish that’s great served hot or cold. Though included as part of our camping menu, it pairs well with anything from grilled chicken to seared steak. (And is easily adapted to indoor cooking environments.) Note that a full recipe of this couscous makes much more than the 4 servings indicated—we intend for you to keep half of it to make our Campfire Couscous Salad with Bell Peppers and Mint for lunch the following day.
What to buy: Israeli couscous has larger, pearl-shaped granules and is more glutinous than the smaller, more grainlike North African variety.
This recipe was also featured as part of our Picnic Recipes photo gallery.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 50 mins
- Active: 35 mins
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium garlic clove, thinly sliced
- Chef’s Salt and Pepper Mix
- 3 cups dry Israeli couscous
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 fresh thyme sprig
- 2 medium zucchini, seeded and cut into small dice (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons Zante currants
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan placed on a camping stove set to medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add garlic and season well with several pinches of salt and pepper mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened but not browned.
- Add couscous and stir to coat with oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until couscous is golden brown and toasted, about 5 minutes.
- Add water and thyme sprig and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium low; simmer until couscous is tender and water is absorbed, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in zucchini; return the lid to the pan. Allow to sit 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
- Stir in pine nuts, currants, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Taste couscous and, if necessary, season with more salt and pepper mix.