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The Quickest Grain for Your Every Dinner Need

Food52 logo Food52 22/11/2017 Catherine Lamb

© Provided by Food 52 When I am low on time and inspiration, and high on hunger and grumpiness, I turn to couscous. Cover this golden grain (it's actually a granular pasta made with durum wheat semolina!) with hot water, leave it for a minute, and you've got a fluffy, tender heap just waiting to be your dinner. (Note: If you're using Israeli couscous, you'll have to boil a pot of water—but it still cooks super quickly.) Couscous is the speediest way to dinner—bonus, it's extremely versatile.

Couscous makes an excellent bed for a hearty stew or saucy braise (make one over the weekend, then eat it all week long). It also easily bulks out a salad or turns roasted vegetables, toasted nuts, and some cheese into a full-fledged meal. Add some eggs and whatever leftovers are in your fridge, and voilà—you've got fritters. Is it also delicious with butter, salt, pepper, and microwaved peas? Yes, it is.

You hardly need a recipe to turn couscous into a meal, but just in case you want one, we've rounded up 16 recipes to celebrate couscous, and hearty stews to put on top of couscous, to add to your weeknight arsenal.

Couscous (Israeli & Non-)

food on a picnic table: Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Roasted Lemon Salad © Provided by Food52 Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Roasted Lemon Salad

Couscous, Fennel, Mint, and Roasted Lemon Salad by Skye | From My Dining Table

a plate of food on a table: Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad © Provided by Food52 Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad © Provided by Food52

Carrot Chickpea Couscous Salad by Kendra Vaculin

© Provided by Food52 Citrus Olive Couscous by vegetarianirvana © Provided by Food52 Truffled Israeli Cous Cous with Meyer Lemon and Basil by ModernSwap

© Provided by Food52 Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon, and Israeli Couscous by em-i-lis

© Provided by Food52 Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted Almonds by Jennifer Ann © Provided by Food52 Saffron-scented Vegetable Couscous with North African-spi... by deensiebat

© Provided by Food52

Pearl Couscous with Roasty Roots, Chickpeas, and Pepitas by Cristina Sciarra

Things to Put on top of couscous

© Provided by Food52 Braised Moroccan Chicken and Olives by Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

© Provided by Food52 Pork Stew with White Beans and Butternut Squash by Merrill Stubbs © Provided by Food52 Salmon Moqueca by WinnieAb

© Provided by Food52 One-Pot Chicken Chasseur by Katherine Knowles

© Provided by Food52

Seafood Stew that Reminds Us of Portugal by drbabs

© Provided by Food52 Eggs in Spicy Minted Tomato Sauce by ieatthepeach © Provided by Food52 Curried Chickpeas with Cauliflower and Coconut Milk by Alexandra Stafford

© Provided by Food52 Warming Winter Squash Tagine by allyeats

Related: Can what you eat help fight climate change? (Provided by Wochit News)

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