It’s time for a recipe! I had not been cooking many super interesting meals lately but this was a big success, and not too much effort. I’d seen references to parmesan couscous on Pinterest before but they all seemed to consist of literally just those two things with some herbs thrown in so I decided to add some ingredients to make it a full meal. It’s exactly the kind of food I love, hearty and full of different flavours and you can eat it from a bowl. This serves 2-3 people, but you can easily make it for more people by just adding more of all the ingredients as it’s not a very precise recipe anyway.
You can also easily make it vegan by swapping out the parmesan for the Minimalist Baker’s vegan parmesan replacement! (I love this, it doesn’t exactly taste like parmesan cheese and is more just a delicious hearty nutty topping but totally worth trying whether your vegan or not)
Couscous (200-300 grams)
Parmesan cheese (get a nice block to grate rather than the powder/flake stuff)
2 onions (small/medium sized)
Head of garlic
Chickpeas (1 can)
Pine nuts (handful)
Rocket lettuce (2 handfuls or so)
Fresh parsley (handful)
Salt & Pepper
Lemon pepper (it’s pepper with dried lemon zest I think? It’s delicious but probably not something you can find everywhere and it can totally be left out)
Vegetable stock cube or some powdered stock
Make some couscous the way your particular box of couscous says to make it. (I just pour boiling water on it and let it sit for a little bit) When it’s nice and cloudy, crumble the stock cube into it and add a little bit of olive oil.
In the mean time, roast your chickpeas, garlic and onion in the oven for about 40 minutes. Toss the chickpeas with olive oil and all the seasoning (except for the stock cube), cut the onions into wedges and cut the top off of the head of garlic and then brush them with some olive oil and put some nice chunks of sea salt on top. Don’t under season the chickpeas! They bring in a lot of the flavour. Put them all together on a tray and stick them in the oven. I put them for 40ish minutes because I have a hot air type oven, if you have a ‘real’ oven they probably need a bit less time or you might have to put some tinfoil on them.
Roast the pine nuts in a pan until they are nice and brown and add them to the couscous. Grate some parmesan and add it in, you can also add the rocket lettuce and the chopped parsley now. I grated about half of my small block of parmesan, probably about 75gr? It added loads of flavour but it didn’t turn it into some kind of cheese monstrosity.
When the chickpeas are done roasting just mix them into the couscous. The roasted onions should be lightly browned, just pull them apart into individual slices and thrown them in. What I do with the roasted head of garlic is just peel away all the skins and crush the now softened garlic with a fork, if it’s still a little too solid for that you can chop it and then crush it. Mix it in as well and there you go! Serve in bowls.
I made it ahead of time and we ate it after an hour or two when it had cooled down and it was delicious but I have to say the few bites I took when it was still warm were maybe even better.