When I started to make dinner last week, I discovered the main course hadn’t thawed, and we were out of boxed mac and cheese, our go-to last-minute dinner. So, I was left to root around our kitchen cabinets. Thank God I had cleaned them out the day before, or I would be writing this from under several bags of unknown flours.
I had some zucchini in the fridge and the ingredients to make this, so I thought I’d try bulking it up with couscous and garbanzo beans. It sounded like dinner to me and was on the table in under 20 minutes.
On the surface, it might sound a little boring, but I can’t tell you enough about how good it was. The squeeze of fresh lemon and red chili flakes really bring the whole thing to life. Oh and by the way, it’s also pretty delicious day two as lunch. It’s the sort of thing that’s perfect to pack for work or eat on a lazy evening.
Zucchini, Garbanzo and Lemon Couscous
Serves 3, hungry people
1 c. whole wheat couscous
1 c. water
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 a can of garbanzo beans
1 tbsp. and 1 tsp. evoo, divided
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano
2 tbsp. slivered almonds
In a small pan, toast the almonds over medium low heat, stirring occasionally. Pull them off the heat when you can smell them, and they’re beginning to brown. Meanwhile, preheat your broiler. Mine has the option for low or high heat. I did these on low.
In a small saucepan, bring 1 c. water, 1 tsp. evoo, salt and pepper to a boil. Add the couscous and pull off the heat. Let it sit for several minutes and then, fluff with a fork. Add the zest from half a lemon.
Slice your zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds. Toss them in evoo and season with salt and pepper. Lay them out on a broiler pan or baking sheet and cook in the oven for about four minutes.
Remove them from the oven and flip. Then, put them back in for three minutes. Take them out again and top with Parmigiano Reggiano and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Next, put them back in the oven and let them cook for about four minutes or until the cheese has started to brown.
When the zucchini is done, combine and heat the couscous, zucchini, garbanzo beans and almonds in a large pan. Add the juice from one lemon and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may need to add a drizzle of evoo if it seems too dry.