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Couscous Pilaf

This side dish is absolutely to die for. The recipe is straight off the Trader Joe's Israeli Couscous box, with just a few little tweaks I've perfected from making this multiple times. Seriously, I could simply eat this alone for a meal. Since the sweet and savory flavor is so complex, pair this with a simple protein and side salad. 

Couscous Pilaf serves 4

3 Tbsp butter, divided

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped

1 box Israeli couscous 

1 large cinnamon stick

1 dried bay leaf

1 3/4 cups chicken broth

salt to taste

1/3 cup parsley, minced

zest of 1 lemon

1/3 cup raisins

1 tsp ground cinnamon

black pepper to taste


Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir until golden brown (watch closely so they don't burn!). Transfer to a small bowl.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the same pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until golden. Add couscous, cinnamon stick and bay leaf and stir until the couscous slightly browns. Add chicken broth and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender. Remove from heat and stir in parsley, pine nuts, lemon zest and raisins. Season with cinnamon and black pepper.