Crispy Couscous

This tasty version of a Mediterranean classic has a texture that is both soft and crispy. By including a assortment of vegetables and peppers, a colorful side dish is created that plates well with many entrees.


  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 1 cup water
  • Olive Oil
  • Clarified butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Onion – diced
  • Red pepper or a sweet pepper – peeled and diced
  • Butternut squash – peeled and diced


  1. Mise en Place – prepare ingredients in advance.
  2. Put dry couscous in a tray.
  3. Boil water with salt and pepper, sometimes I melt butter in as well.
  4. Pour hot water on grain and cover with film. Allow to cook and then cool, which should take one hour.
  5. Prepare vegetables
    • peel skin off bell pepper and remove core and seeds. Slice along the length by first cutting in half and then carefully slicing uniform strips. Once done dice along the length. The goal is to have each piece be an equal size cube.
    • Cut onion so that once diced each cube is the same size as the red pepper.
    • Cut squash so that each dice is again the same size as the other vegetables. Sometimes I like to substitute carrot for squash.
  6. Put 1/3rd of couscous with clarified butter in small sauté pan and cook until crispy and brown. Be careful not to burn the grain. When done, rest on a paper towel.
  7. Sauté vegetables in the warm pan with olive oil. Sweat until soft.
  8. Combine cooked vegetables with crispy couscous. How much vegetables you mix into the couscous depends on the look, taste, and texture you are going for. Don’t feel that you have to use it all just because you cooked it.
  9. Add the crispy couscous with vegetables with the soft couscous and slowly warm while the main entrée completes.

Plating: You can be creative when you plate the couscous. I like to use either a long thin mold or a round tin. Press the couscous into the mold and it will hold the shape when the mold is removed. Then you can add your entrée on top or along the side and cover with sauce.