This recipe for Couscous with Spinach and Lemon Wine Sauce was inspired on a recent trip we took to Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. I’ll tell you how I transformed something I saw in the frozen food aisle.
When Mr. Saucy and I travel, we normally rent a house or a townhouse instead of staying in a hotel. Since most places have a “fully stocked” kitchen (quotation marks because what’s fully stocked for one, is never fully stocked for me), I cook for us on our vacations for most meals.
Every year we head to Hilton Head Island, where Mr. Saucy’s mother had a timeshare in a townhouse in Sea Pines. This year rather than going in February, we pushed out our time to go in March. We were hoping the weather might be more favorable for surf fishing. We took our new beach cruiser bicycles and rode everywhere, we didn’t get in any fishing. Rest, riding, reading and eating great food were our occupations for the week.
While we were there, I checked out the local markets; I always want to see what other areas have readily available, that I can’t get here at home. Normally, I don’t peruse the frozen foods aisle, but one store I was in had an impressive array of frozen side dishes I had never seen before. One of them was a steam bag of couscous with spinach, lightly sauced with lemon. I decided we’d try it. I wanted to taste it so I could make my own. Better. *wink*
This is the result. And it is better. Here’s how I improved on it: While the couscous was cooking, I sauteing shallot and garlic in butter. To that, I added white wine, lemon juice and zest; then steamed the spinach in the sauce. Once the couscous was done cooking (just 10 minutes), I added it to the pan with the spinach. Then I sprinkled on some toasted pine nuts and some crumbled feta cheese. De. Lish!
I hope you’ll try it! It makes for a good Meatless Monday meal for 2, or a side dish for 4-6.
- ¼ cup water, brought to a boil
- 1 cup Israel (Pearl) Couscous
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup small dice shallots
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (one small clove)
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
- 5 ounces baby spinach leaves, stems removed
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese
- salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the couscous, reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes (all the water should be absorbed).
- While the couscous is cooking, in a large skillet, over medium heat, add the butter to melt.
- Add the shallots and saute for 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue to cook for one minute.
- Add the wine, lemon juice and zest, and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the spinach leaves, cover and allow the leaves to wilt.
- Add the cooked couscous, toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta and stir to combine.
- Add salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
- Simmer on low long enough for the sauce to be absorbed.
- Serve hot.