Savory Couscous with Salsa Verde

I hadn't cooked with couscous or eaten any until recently. but Chef Giada's gorgeous couscous salads tempted me to grab a packet from the grocery store... and that is how couscous entered my kitchen. though salads were the motivation behind getting couscous home, the first recipe i tried was my own. i puffed the couscous in Lucinda's Minestrone. and it was healthy and YUM.... with the italian flavors doing their thing in the background,  the couscous turned out really well. for dinner i served it along with blood orange chicken and a minty green salsa.. and the next day i had it for lunch just like that. frankly speaking, i enjoyed it a lot the next day. unclouded by the flavors of the chicken and salsa, the real taste of the dish came out  and i relished it so much.. Mr and baby MN liked it too. that night baby ate his dinner without much fuss and husband enjoyed his dinner too.. 

now the recipe...


2 tablespoons extra-virgin oil
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 small zucchini, trimmed and quartered lengthwise and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
2 tender inner celery stalks with leaves, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces 
3 florets of cauliflower cut into small pieces, about 1/2 inch long
5 strings of green beans sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
half of a 1 1/2 broad wedge of cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Roma tomato chopped
2 teaspoons of dried basil 
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
salt to taste + a little extra for the couscous
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper 
1 cup couscous

what i did

  • first i cooked the  Minestrone following directions from Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen. that is, in a large saucepan, i sauteed the onions along with the grated garlic in 2 tablespoons of oil until the onions  were tender and translucent.
  • then i added the zucchini and celery to it. cooked it for about 2 minutes before adding the cauliflower pieces, beans and cabbage. 
  • stirring occasionally i let all the vegetables cook for about 5 minutes and then added the chopped tomato, dried basil, dried parsley, salt and black pepper to it. 
  • once the chopped tomatoes softened, i added the chickpeas, stirred to mix it with the veggies in the saucepan and then added the tomato sauce along with 2 1/2 cups of water. 
  • i then covered the saucepan and simmered the minestrone for 30 minutes. 
  • once the minestrone was done, i increased the heat, brought the minestrone to boil, then added the couscous to the bubbling soup. then covering the saucepan i cooked the couscous in it for about 5 minutes. then removed the saucepan from the heat and left it covered for another 5 minutes. then puffed it up with a fork. 
note : i think i should have switched off the heat immediately after adding the couscous to the boiling soup. leaving it to cook over the  flame for an extra 5 minutes made it slightly sticky. i'll be careful about it the next time. in case you are cooking couscous for the first time, you might like to make a note of it. other than that it was delicious .

i had thought that a green minty salsa would pair up nicely with the couscous. so i prepared some by mixing in a small bowl a 2 teaspoons olive oil , 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic, 1 teaspoon minced capers , 2 tablespoons each of finely chopped coriander and mint leaves, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of feta and along with some salt and pepper. though the salsa was good and Mr MN liked it with the couscous, i thought it was unnecessary. as i mentioned before the couscous tasted good by itself....

Hope you enjoyed the preparation.  Happy cooking and Bon Appetit !!

Will be sharing this with

Tuesday Food:  Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers,  The 21st Century HousewifeSavoring TodayZesty South Indian Kitchen
Tempt my Tummy @Blessed with GraceTotally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Tasteful Tuesday Party @ Nap Time Creations,   Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
Hand Made Tuesday @ Ladybug BlessingsShare it Link Party @ Winthrop Chronicles
Wednesday Food: What's Cooking Wednesday @ Confessions of Overworked MomCast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain  Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on 
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade MomWonderful Food Wednesdays at @ Home Take 2Seasonal Celebration @ Natural Mother's Network
Thursday Food: Link it Up Thursday @ Seven AliveCreative Thursday @ Michelle's Tasty CreationsFantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ DomesblissityTasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch Freedom Friday @ My TurnSpicy Thursday @ DC in Style
Friday Food:  Foodie Friday @ Home Maid SimpleFriday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Not Your Ordinary RecipesFoodie Friday @ Rattlebridge FarmFriday Food Fight @ Run DMT
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness MissFriday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts , Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club

Fresh Bites Friday @ Real Food, Wellness Weekend


  1. Sounds delicious! Thanks for linking up to Wellness Weekend. :)

  2. Pinning this right up my Italian-American alley... Thanks so much for sharing this recipe with us on foodie friday.

    1. :) thanks for stopping by Diane.

  3. Tanu, you have changed the blog's look! Love the header and the tag line :) The couscous dish sounds delish - I wonder if I would get it here though.

    1. Thanks Priya. Not sure what could be a good substitute for couscous. but i am pretty sure roasted semolina or tapioca cooked in minestrone would taste as good.

  4. We love couscous & I love the added veggies in this one!

  5. couscous is always favorite to me.I love this dish because its easy making lovely delicious dish.
    Couscous recipes


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Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

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