You are here: Home » Ingredient » Cooking with Couscous Cooking with Couscous Ingredient,Recipes http://relish.com/articles/couscous-18/ by Candace FloydSeptember 6, 2012 Technically neither a grain nor a pasta, couscous is versatile, low-maintenance, and right at home in both warm and cold dishes. Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn http://pgoarelish2.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/greek_couscous_with_olive_oh_selective_focus.jpg Share this: Pin ItEmailPrint Culinary chat rooms clamor with debate over whether couscous (KOOS-koos) is a grain or a pasta. Let’s resolve the foodie feud by saying that, technically, it’s neither. Traditionally, couscous was made by rolling moistened semolina (the hard cracked wheat produced by the first crushing in the milling process) in a bowl of flour. Since it isn’t made with a conventional dough, it’s not a true pasta—and the flour coating takes it past the point of being simply a grain. Most Western couscous is pre-steamed and requires no actual cooking. Just soften in boiling water; in minutes, it’s ready to eat. Couscous is incredibly versatile. Enhance the taste by adding minced garlic, ginger and green onions and soften with hot stock rather than water. In African and Arab cuisine, couscous forms a bed for dishes that bear its name, and you can create easy, one-pot meals by stirring couscous into vegetable sautés along with juicy tomatoes or stock toward the end of cooking. It also makes satisfying cold salads, perfect for lunch boxes. Handmade couscous was a staple of the Berber culture of North Africa, ideal for nomads because it required little in the way of implements. It could be steamed in woven twigs or reeds over a pot of stew and scooped with the fingers. If you’re a couscous lover, you may want to invest in a couscoussière, a double-boiler type pot that cooks stew in the lower pan and steams couscous in the top pan. —By Jo Marshall, a food writer in Deephaven, Minn. Share this: Pin ItEmailPrint Greek Couscous with Olives Here’s a fresh, no-cook recipe perfect for picnics and versatile as can be. It’s the winner in Relish’s and the California Ripe Olives’ contest for the best new recipe using ripe olives. Stuffed Red Peppers with Couscous and Green Beans A garden-full of goodness is what you’ll find in this modern, meatless take on stuffed bell peppers. Couscous and Chicken Salad A great end-of-summer dish that uses fresh herbs, summer tomatoes, and shredded rotisserie chicken. Pesto Shrimp with Couscous A heart-shaped parchment packet holds a healthy meal shrimp and couscous. Israeli Couscous with Mango and Cucumber Sweet mangoes combine with Israeli couscous in this summery salad.