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Jeweled Couscous Recipe with Pomegranate and Lentils | The Mediterranean Dish. An easy couscous recipe that makes the perfect side dish or salad! With lentils, nuts, pomegranate seeds, and flavor-packed with Mediterranean spices. Makes any dinner special! And perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas too! See the tutorial on TheMediterraneanDish.com

Jeweled Couscous Recipe with Pomegranate and Lentils


  • Author: The Mediterranean Dish
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Side dish
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

Ingredients

  • 1 cup puy lentils
  • Water
  • Salt
  • 1 2/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups instant couscous like this one
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric spice
  • Olive oil
  • 8 oz mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I used baby bella mushrooms, but white button mushrooms would work)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground green cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, stems removed, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh mint (about 30 mint leaves), stems removed, chopped
  • 5-6 scallions, tops trimmed, chopped (both white and green parts)
  • Seeds (arils) of 1 large pomegranate, more for garnish
  • 10 Medjool dates, pitted, chopped (figs or dried apricots would work here as well)
  • 1 cup gold raisins
  • 1/2 cup EACH shelled chopped pistachios, chopped walnuts, toasted pine nuts, more for
  • garnish

Instructions

  1. Wash the lentils under cold running water. Drain.
  2. Cook the Lentils. Place the lentils in a saucepan and add 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes until the lentils cook through (they should absorb all the water). Add a pinch of salt and remove from heat.
  3. Cook the couscous. While the lentils are cooking, make the couscous. In a saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Remove from heat then stir in couscous, turmeric, pinch of salt, 1/2 tbsp olive oil. Cover and let sit 5 minutes to finish cooking. Fluff with a fork and give it a try. If needed, stir in just a little more boiled vegetable broth.
  4. Make the mushrooms. In a large cast iron skillet like this one, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the mushrooms. Cook for 4 minutes on high, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to gain color. Reduce heat to medium-high, and stir the onions and garlic and cook a couple more minutes.
  5. Now put everything together. In the same skillet, add in the cooked lentils and couscous. Add salt, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, coriander, and black pepper. Mix the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice with 1 tbsp olive oil, and add the liquid to the skillet with the couscous and lentil mixture. Toss to combine. Cook on medium, stirring regularly until warmed through.
  6. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients. You can transfer to a larger mixing bowl, and using a large wooden spoon, mix to combine. Transfer the couscous to a serving platter and garnish with more pomegranate seeds and nuts.

Notes

Make-ahead instructions: You can do most of this a day or two in advance. Once you cook the lentils,couscous and mushrooms, you can combine them in the skillet and mix in the spices and pomegranate/lemon juice mixture. Let that all cool off and then transfer to a tight-lid container and refrigerate. It’s best to add in the fresh herbs, scallions, pomegranate seeds, nuts, and raisins, when you are ready to serve. If you want to serve the couscous warm, take the couscous-lentil mixture out of the fridge a few minutes before heating. Then resume the process at step #5