Sunday, November 25, 2007

simple side dish

my microwave oven — like those of many other people — is mainly reserved for reheating and occasionally defrosting when i need something quickly. once in a while, however, i actually will use it to cook.

one of those items is the following couscous side dish which can be made quite quickly with a few everyday pantry items. things will go even faster if you buy pre-sliced mushrooms and use stock powder.

after a few minutes of cooking you are left with a flavourful side dish which goes well with fish, meat or a variety of vegetarian main course meals. the finished casserole can also be frozen and reheated when needed. you can also add or adjust the seasonings to suit your taste.

mushroom tomato couscous pilav

serves 4 (can be doubled)


1 c (~165 g) med grain couscous
1 c (250 ml) vegetable or chicken broth
1 c (250 ml) plain tomato sauce (not paste)

1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 to 2 c (~225 g) sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp margarine or butter or olive oil

1/2 to 1 tsp salt
pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp dried marjoram or basil or oregano
1/4 tsp garlic & onion powder each (optional)


in a small pyrex dish (at least 4 cups), place the couscous.

add the tomato sauce and the broth on top but do not stir. let this sit aside while you continue with the rest of the recipe.

chop the onion and garlic and place in a microwaveable bowl with the butter or oil.

cook on high heat for 4 minutes uncovered.

meanwhile, slice the mushrooms thinly. remove the bowl and add the mushrooms to the onion garlic mixture.

stir well.

cook again for another 3 minutes at high heat. remove it from microwave and let sit while you cook the couscous.

cover the pyrex with plastic wrap and cut several holes in it to act as steam vents. cook the couscous in the microwave for 5 minutes (*see below). most of the liquid will have been absorbed prior to cooking so don't be alarmed if there doesn't seem to be enough.

place the pyrex on the counter and remove the plastic wrap carefully. it is very hot from the steam.

add the mushroom onion mixture and mix to blend.

add the seasonings (*you can add the dried herbs at the point when you microwave the couscous, if you like).

mix again to blend well. taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great idea! I find that couscous is a very practical. It can be paired with so many different ingredients...



burekaboy — said...

rosa - it's something different from the regular plain way or standard couscous salads ;)