Israeli Couscous w/ Figs, Hazelnuts & Feta

Israeli Couscous Feta Figs Hazelnuts

While hiking Runyan a while back it dawned on me that I had a box of Israeli couscous in the cupboard that I could make for lunch! I get these random ingredients that take up space in the cupboard and it’s great when I’m finally in the mood for them 🙂

I have had Israeli couscous out, but never at home. I love it! I like it much better than normal couscous actually. Little chewy balls. My husband compared it to sabudana (pearl tapioca).

I found this fantastic recipe from Hunger and Sauce on Pinterest. The coucous is paired with hazelnuts, figs and pomegranate molasses. Back when I made this (I’m a little behind on posting) there were no fresh figs so I used dried. So sad, they are everywhere now!

I ended up having a couple of other random ingredients that were in the recipe (go figure): dukkah and pomegranate molasses. Dukkahis an Egyption spice mix of nuts, seeds and spices. There is very little dukkah in this recipe so if I didn’t have a container from Trader Joe’s at home I would have skipped it. But you can’t skip the pomegranate molasses! I had a bottle of pomegranate glaze from Trader Joe’s that is supposed to be fairly similar. I think they discontinued it, but you can find pomegranate molasses at a Middle Eastern Market. It is to die for. I can eat it by the spoon! Tart, but caramely, and oh it is just so hard to describe!

1 1/3 cup Israeli couscous
1/3 cup hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoon dukkah (optional)
1 large onion (preferrable red, I only had yellow) cut into chunks
8 garlic cloves unpeeled
3 figs sliced (fresh preferred, I could only find dried!)
1 lemon cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup fresh mint
4 ounces feta cut into little squares

  1. Cook couscous according to package directions (I used a box from Trader Joe’s – 1 1/3 cup couscous toasted in a little olive oil, add 1 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 12 minutes).
  2. Peel the hazelnuts: boil in 1 cup of water and 1 1/2 tablespoon baking soda for 3 minutes, then drain and rub off the peel. Toss with olive oil and dukkah and roast for 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Let cool completely.
  3. Toss the onions, garlic, figs and lemons with the olive oil, pomegranate molasses and salt and roast for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven. If using dried figs, soak in boiling water for a few minutes, slice and add during the last 5 minutes of roasting. Once cool enough to touch, peel the garlic.
  4. Toss the couscous with the onion mixture, the roasted hazelnuts, the mint and the feta. Enjoy!

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