Crusty cous cous with onion & tomato










Adapted from the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi


“This wonderfully comforting couscous is based on a dish Sami’s mother cooked for him when he was a child. All we did as add a crust, similar to Iranian tadik, which is a famous rice dish cooked in such a way that a crispy crust forms at the bottom of the pot; this crunchy bit is everybody’s favorite. Good-quality stock is important here.”

Leftovers heat up really well (microwave), and are great with eggs in the morning for breakfast!


3 TBS olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)

1 TBS tomato paste (or substitute ketchup!)

½ tsp sugar (omit if using ketchup!)

2 very ripe tomatoes, cut into ¼” pieces

1 cup couscous

1 cup boiling chicken stock or vegetable stock

2 ½ TBS butter

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Optional – ½ – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & diced or shake or 2 of tobacco sauce


Pour 2 TBS of oil into pan about 8 ½ “ in diameter and place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until it has softened. Stir in the tomato paste and sugar (or ketchup) and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper and cook for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the couscous in a shallow bowl, pour over the boiling stock, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for 10 minutes, then remove the cover and fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the tomato sauce and stir well.

Wipe the pan clean and heat the butter and the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. When the butter has melted, spoon the couscous into the pan and use the back of the spoon or spatula to pat it down gently so it is all packed in snugly. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to its lowest setting, and allow the couscous to steam for 10 -12 minutes, until you can see a light brown color around the edges. Use a spatula or knife to help you peer between the edge of the couscous and the side of the pan: you want a really crisp edge all over the base and sides.

Invert a large plate on top of the pan and quickly invert the pan and plate together, releasing the couscous onto the plate. Alternately, just cut the couscous into quarters and place on serving plate. Serve warm or at room temp.



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