Sep 21
2009

Cinnamon-Scented Toasted Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts Recipe

Cinnamon-Scented Toasted Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts

With crisp Autumn nights upon us, I am starting to pine for warm, comforting dishes.  I climbed into my cozy sweatpants and slippers because I simply can’t cook a comforting meal while wearing shorts and sandals.  That’s like slipping into a pair of Spandex after using up all of your McDonald’s coupons in one week.  It’s just wrong.  My husband returned from a business trip to northern California last week (and a trip to Trader Joe’s) with five boxes of Israeli couscous.  That keeps him out of the doghouse for at least a month.  Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, is significantly larger than its traditional cousin.  It is made from semolina flour and is considered to be a pasta.  It pairs beautifully with vegetables (see my Israeli Couscous with Grilled Summer Vegetables recipe), meat, and chicken.  Simmered with a cinnamon stick and chicken broth, and mixed with pine nuts, this couscous has a rich, toasted flavor.

Preheat a small skillet over medium heat and add 1/3 cup pine nuts. 


Toast until the pine nuts are golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch these little guys closely because they will burn in a flash. Set aside.

Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter. Add 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots to the saucepan.



Sauté until the shallots are golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces) Israeli couscous, 1 small piece (or 1/2 large piece) cinnamon stick, and 1 dried bay leaf.


Cook until the couscous is just beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.


Add 1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt.



Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 10-12 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley and the toasted pine nuts. Serve.

Other Israeli Couscous recipes:
Nook & Pantry’s Braised Lamb Shanks & Saffron Pearl Couscous 

Cinnamon-Scented Toasted Israeli Couscous with Pine Nuts
Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit Magazine

1/3 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
1 1/2 cups (8 oz) Israeli couscous
1 small or 1/2 large cinnamon stick
1 dried bay leaf
1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

Preheat a small skillet over medium heat and add pine nuts.  Toast until the pine nuts are golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside.

Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Add shallots to the saucepan.  Sauté until the shallots are golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Add Israeli couscous, cinnamon stick, and dried bay leaf.  Cook until the couscous is just beginning to brown, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.  Add chicken broth and salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 10-12 minutes.

Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in 1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley and the toasted pine nuts. Serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish.
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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Miranda September 21, 2009 at 11:06 am

I love your recipes!!
CC, you rock!!

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2 GarlicBOSS September 21, 2009 at 11:31 am

This sounds delicious with the cinnamon…thanks

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3 Karine September 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I have never had israeli couscous. I should give it a try. I love the addition of the pine nuts in your recipe. It looks great!

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4 Divina Pe September 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Lovely couscous. I don't even know if we have Israeli couscous. Thanks fore the recipe.

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5 Diana Bauman September 21, 2009 at 2:33 pm

This is beautiful CC!! I need to cook more with pine nuts, I just wish they weren't so gosh darn expensive, lol!

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6 alison September 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm

a beauty post ,full of flavours!

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7 Jessie September 21, 2009 at 5:07 pm

that looks extremely comforting and delicious! I hear you about slipping into sweatpants and wearing cozy clothes. It's been pretty cool here during the evenings.

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8 Tasty Eats At Home September 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm

This sounds lovely. I'd have to switch out the couscous (maybe quinoa in its place) to make it glutenfree, but yum! The cinnamon sounds so great.

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9 Jenn September 21, 2009 at 6:06 pm

It's been a while since I've had some cous cous. Looks really really good. I may have to add cous cous to my dinner menu this week.

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10 lululu September 21, 2009 at 6:25 pm

i love coucous, hvnt tried this large one though. it reminds me of pearl barley!
i think i'd like it!

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11 Karen September 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

I bet the kitchen smells wonderful when you cook this! I'm going to have to try this.

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12 Southern Grace Gourmet September 21, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Wish I could have been there when this was cooking, I know the smell was to die for!

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13 Laura September 21, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I love Israeli couscous, and with the pine nuts….. delicious.

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14 redkathy September 21, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Looks fabulous! My niece introduced me to couscous but nothing like your display here.

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15 Cajun Chef Ryan September 21, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Couscous and with pine nuts, oh my! Wonderful!
Thanks much!

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16 Spicie Foodie September 21, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Great recipe:) I have make a similar rice dish,never tried it with couscous. But I really like your recipe, sounds yummy & good comfort food for the cooler weather. Nice

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17 pegasuslegend September 21, 2009 at 10:29 pm

This looks and sounds wonderful thanks for sharing1

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18 pixen September 22, 2009 at 12:26 am

Really yummy! I love couscous compared to bulgur wheat. It's an amazing graine! :-)

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19 HoneyB September 22, 2009 at 12:37 am

This looks delicious! I am new to eating couscous and now I will be on the lookout for Israeli couscous! Great photograph. Makes me want to dig right in!

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20 Joelen September 22, 2009 at 2:56 am

I love couscous, especially Israeli because I find the texture to be better! Looks delicious!

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21 Family Cuisine Food And Recipe September 22, 2009 at 10:58 am

Nice. Thank you for sharing. Cheers !

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22 {kiss my spatula} September 22, 2009 at 2:24 pm

i love pine nuts in my couscous! such lovely photos!

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23 Velva September 23, 2009 at 12:30 am

This looks beautiful! I Love cous-cous. I can see why hubby will remain out of the dog house for at least a month :-)

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24 Simply Life September 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm

What a great idea! That looks and sounds amazing!

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25 Diana H September 23, 2009 at 3:19 pm

This sounds lovely, like a warm comfortable meal. I like the pine nuts and cinnamon.

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26 Amanda June 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I made this the other night for some friends who have never had couscous before and we all LOVED it! Thanks for the great recipe – I'll definitely be making this again!

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27 Cookin' Canuck June 7, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Amanda, I'm so glad you enjoyed this. Thanks for letting me know.

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