Monday, April 11, 2011

Fire Roasted Tomato Couscous with Chickpeas

Some nights I really don't feel like going all out and spending three hours in the kitchen, slaving over some involved dish. I want something quick, delicious, nutritious and comforting. Years ago, those were the nights I opened a jar of sauce, threw it over some pasta and called it a night. While there's nothing wrong with that, it's possible to make something way more interesting in the same amount of time. The recipe I bring you today uses mostly pantry fare (let's hear it for less chopping on lazy days!), a few fresh ingredients and comes together in under 20 minutes.  The best part is that this couscous tastes and looks much more time consuming than it is. So please, go forth and fool your dinner guests.

Fire Roasted Tomato Couscous with Chickpeas
Makes 4 servings
  • 1 28 oz / 795 g can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained and liquid reserved
  • 1 15 oz / 425 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, cut into strips lengthwise then sliced widthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional: Nutritional yeast for garnish
1.  Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until they start to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Toss in the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
2.  Pour 1 1/2 cup of the tomato liquid (if you forgot to reserve the liquid from the tomatoes you could use broth or water) into a small pot with a lid. Bring it to a boil then add the couscous, 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Give it all a quick stir, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit covered for 4-5 minutes or as long as the couscous package indicates.
3.  Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper and red pepper flakes to the leek mixture and cook for 5-7 minutes or until everything is warmed through. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and add it to skillet along with the parsley, tossing to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot or at room temperature, with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast if you'd like.

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