Couscous with Cumin and Pine Nuts is deceptively simple and decidedly flavorful with a large payoff for a small effort. It serves 1, but can easily be scaled up.
Couscous is the genius grain that doesn’t actually need to cook, but rather re-hydrates in hot broth. It’s ready in, no kidding, 5 minutes.
And it makes a wonderful canvas for lots of flavors, starting with whether you use broth or water, continuing to what sort of spice you add, and finishing with whatever herbs or chunky things you add in or however you garnish it.
Oh, and you can make it easily in this small batch to serve 1 or 2, or multiply it by 4 or 6 to serve a larger crowd.
There’s nothing tricky about it, so beginning cooks will always have success!
How to make Couscous with Cumin and Pine Nuts
First, as always, assemble all your ingredients. That way you’ll know you have everything on hand, ready to go.
Heat the oil in a small pot, toast the cumin, add the couscous and toast it, and then add the broth. It will sizzle mightily.
Turn off the heat and you’re almost done. All you have to do is add some cilantro and pine nuts, and it’s done!
Ideas for topping Couscous with Cumin and Pine Nuts
You can eat it plain, with cilantro and toasted pine nuts, or you can embellish with other things, depending on what you have on hand. Feel free to experiment!
Chopped dried figs are a natural. These are bite-sized Mission figs from California. Use whatever dried figs you can find.
Perhaps slice a Fuyu persimmon. A Fuyu is the kind that is shaped like an orange-colored apple and you eat it when it is firm, not squishy. (Take a look at persimmon varieties here. )
Golden raisins are good on top.
Dried cranberries are good on top.
Or put all the fruits on, and revel in your harvest bowl!
You could add cooked chicken to make it a one-bowl main dish.
Or serve it as a side dish alongside whatever protein you are eating on your plate.
This recipe is from “Cooking for One: Scaled Recipes, No-Waste Solutions & Time-Saving Tips, ” by America’s Test Kitchen (2o2o) affiliate link. As I have been adjusting to my new empty-nest household, I’m bound and determined not to resort to eating cereal for dinner just because I don’t have to cook for a lot of gaping maws anymore. And I don’t always want to make a dish that serves 6-8, and thus have to face down a week’s worth of leftovers. So this hardback cookbook with tons of recipes, all with full-color pictures, is coming in mighty handy.
It’s inspirational, as well, so when you don’t know what you want to eat, a flip through this book helps to narrow your focus. What do you have in in the fridge that needs using? Look for something you can do with that. All the recipes serve 1, unless they have a “makes leftovers” tag on it. Most, if not all, could easily be scaled up if you have another mouth or 2 to feed. I recommend this book for a gift for a singleton, a couple, empty nesters or even grandparents. There are recipes for everything, from the main event, sides to match or eat on their own, simple soups and stews, sandwiches and salads, one-pan dinners and something sweet.
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Looking for another Shockingly Delicious couscous salad?
More holiday side dishes
My blogger friends and I have teamed up this week to bring you enough side dishes to get you through the entire season. Check out today’s recipes below:
- Air Fried Green Beans with Crispy Onions  by West Via Midwest
- Apple and Kohlrabi Slaw  by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon  by Lemon Blossoms
- Buttery Pearl Barley Mushroom Pilaf  by Food Lust People Love
- Cheesy Asparagus Bake  by The Fresh Cooky
- Couscous with Cumin and Pine Nuts by Shockingly Delicious ! THAT’S ME…YOU ARE HERE !
- Cranberry Pecan Cornbread Mini Bites  by The Freshman Cook
- Creamed Corn  by Savory Experiments
- Creamy Cheesy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon  by Blogghetti
- Farro Salad with Apples, Arugula & Feta  by Sweet Beginnings
- Lemon and Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts  by Palatable Pastime
- Loaded Cauliflower Casserole  by Cheese Curd in Paradise
- Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes  by Family Around the Table
- Persimmon Salad With Balsamic Vinaigrette  by The Foodie Affair
- Rice Pilaf with Dried Cranberries and Almonds  by An Affair from the Heart
- Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad  by Kate’s Recipe Box
- Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese and Pecans  by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples  by Devour Dinner
- Sausage Stuffing  by House of Nash Eats
- Wild Rice and Broccoli Casserole  by Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Wild Rice and Sprouts Pilaf  by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
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