Courtesy Sage Kitchen
Courtesy Sage Kitchen
We love this recipe all year round but it’s never more appropriate than on Tu B’Shvat. The mix of dried fruits and nuts gives a great texture to the couscous but more importantly fulfills a centuries old custom of the holiday.
4 cups of chicken, vegetable, or beef broth (ideally homemade). Water can also be used, but you’ll be missing an opportunity to add some real flavor to the couscous
2 cups of Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
2 cups of onion, diced
1 cup of mixed nuts (almonds, pistachio, and pecans are our favorite)
1 cup of mixed dried fruit (currants, apricots, and figs are our favorite)
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon of allspice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of paprika
¼ cup of vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste, for finishing
In a medium saucepan, add the broth, extra virgin olive oil, and kosher salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low, maintaining a nice simmer on the broth.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion, salt to taste, and caramelize the onions until they are golden brown, making sure to stir often to prevent the onions from burning. [Most recipes underestimate how long the caramelization process takes, but it should, realistically, take around 30 to 40 minutes. Be patient, the reward is worth it!] Once the onions have caramelized, add the cinnamon, allspice, cumin, and paprika.
the broth is simmering, slowly add the couscous to the saucepan, making sure to stir at the same time. Once all the couscous has been added, turn off the heat and cover the saucepan. Let sit for 5 minutes. The couscous will cook and puff up from the residual heat and steam. Remove the lid and draw a fork the couscous repeatedly until the couscous is separated and “fluffy”. Let the couscous sit and cool for 15 minutes.
Once cooled, mix the couscous and onions with the mixed nuts and mixed fruits. Add lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste to finish.
This recipe was contributed by Sage Kitchen a full-service kosher catering company based in Manhattan.