This started out as a pasta recipe, until I realized there is no small pasta left in the house. The impending move has led to a self-instituted ban on buying more dry goods, so I decided to substitute with pea-sized Lebanese couscous.
Turns out, that was a good decision. To quote a forgotten cookbook, large couscous is like the beach volleyball of pasta- fun is bound to follow.
1 cup Lebanese or Israeli couscous (substitute with small pasta of choice)
1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped into thin ribbons
2 red bell peppers, roasted, skin removed (about half a cup jarred roasted red peppers)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted, quartered
2 tbsp feta cheese
2 tbsp golden raisins
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste
– Bring plenty of water to boil in a saucepan. Salt like you would for pasta, then add the couscous. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the couscous is al dente. Turn off the heat and throw in the raisins. After a minute, drain.
– While the couscous cooks, heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the sliced garlic, and saute on low heat for 30 seconds. (The garlic should soften but not brown.) Add the pepper flakes, oregano and kale. Saute for 10 minutes, until the kale is reduced to about half in volume, but still a bright green in color. Take off the heat.
– In a bowl, toss together the couscous and raisins with the kale, red peppers and olives. Squeeze the lime in, add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve with feta sprinkled on top.
This is an easy, flexible dish. You can substitute kale with spinach, chard or even arugula, the raisins with chopped apricots or dates, the red peppers with roasted onions or carrots, throw some pine nuts or chickpeas in the mix- you get the idea. Happy playing ball with your food!