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Israeli Couscous with Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta & Dried Cherries

December 26, 2012

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This is the perfect holiday dish to serve at family gatherings. I made this during my Thanksgiving trip to Oregon and even the ones who swore they hated brussels sprouts ended up loving this. It’s so easy to make and makes a ton, which is great for leftovers the next day. I’ve even eaten this cold straight out of the fridge, just as delicious. The pancetta is salty with the contrast of the sweetness from the dried cranberries. You can easily sub out the pancetta for a vegetarian version or top it with slivered almonds. I like cooking the brussels in the pancetta fat after because it gives it a really nice flavor without having to add more oil to the pan. I’ve also been really obsessed with Trader Joe’s Israeli couscous lately, so much tastier and the texture reminds me of eating soft tapioca pearls. It also expands more than regular couscous, soaking in more of that wonderful broth flavor. Safe to say, I’ve pretty much replaced every grain in my diet with Israeli couscous. I cook it with a tablespoon of grapeseed oil to give it some flavor and pour in a cup or more of chicken/beef broth when the couscous is nicely browned. Cover the pot up and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (10 minutes). Enjoy!

Israeli Couscous with Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta & Dried Cherries

Ingredients:

1 box of Israeli Couscous (cook according to instructions)

1 cup of diced pancetta or bacon

1 bag of brussels sprouts, finely diced

1/2 cup dried cherries

Salt

Directions:

Cook Israeli couscous in a small pot with a tablespoon of oil. When couscous is browned and toasted, add in the broth and turn on low until liquid is absorbed with a cover on.

In a non stick pan, cook the pancetta until it begins to brown (5-7 minutes). Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon.

In the same pan, toss in the finely shredded brussels sprouts and cook until barely wilted

In the big serving bowl, toss together the Israeli couscous with the cooked brussels sprouts, pancetta and dried cherries.

Season with salt

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