Couscous with Pine Nuts and Mint

Ina Garten

"Cooking for Jeffrey: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook"

"Couscous is about as easy a dish as I can make, so I serve it often. Many people think it’s a grain but it’s actually like pasta—it’s granular semolina that’s precooked and dried so all you have to do is simmer some stock, stir in the couscous, cover, and let it sit for 10 minutes. Fresh mint and toasted pine nuts are really flavorful additions."—JBF Award winner Ina Garten

Ina serves this effortlessly elegant side dish with her Moroccan Grilled Lamb Chops


2 tablespoons good olive oil 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter 
1 cup chopped yellow onion 
3 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 
1 1⁄2 cups couscous 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
1⁄2 cup julienned fresh mint leaves, loosely packed 
1⁄3 cup pine nuts, toasted (see note) 


Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

Stir in the couscous, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper and remove from the heat. Cover the pot tightly and allow the couscous to steam for 10 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and stir in the mint and pine nuts. Taste for seasonings and add about 1 teaspoon salt, depending on the saltiness of the stock, and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper. Serve hot.

Note: toast pine nuts in a dry sauté pan over low heat, tossing often, for 5 to 10 minutes.

Reprinted from Cooking for Jeffrey. Copyright © 2016 by Ina Garten. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.


6 servings