Pearled couscous, because it is a toasted pasta, has a firm texture on the outside and a smoother texture on the inside. It is round and about 3/16 of an inch in diameter. It is made from semolina flour. It is high in fiber and has a low glycemic index. It is on the bland side, but works well with many vegetable and herb combinations. I find it attractive on the plate.
My niece with the great vegetable garden shared some Asian eggplant with me the other evening. That started the ball rolling for a pearled couscous mix. First, I made a brunoise of onion and red and green bell peppers. I halved the eggplant and sliced it into 1/2 inch half moons – then I got to cooking. First I sweated the onions until tender and picking up a little color, then I added the peppers and eggplant and softened them. I added a tablespoon of water at a time to steam and soften the peppers and eggplant. When the eggplant was about half tender, I removed the veggies from the pot, heated it dry, added a little splash of oil, put the couscous in the pot and browned it a bit. The vegetables went back in with the couscous and I added chicken broth and cooked it until the veggies were done and the couscous had absorbed all the liquid. A little salt and pepper brought out all the flavors in the pot.
While the couscous and veggies rested, I grilled a couple of lamb shoulder chops. Shoulder chops are usually the best priced cut of lamb. I use a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and dried oregano on my chops. Sometimes I rub them with lemon juice and oregano for another layer of flavor.
When the chops were done to a nice medium rare, I plated the couscous and topped it with a chop. It tasted as good as it looks.