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Couscous is a North African dish made from tiny steamed balls of semolina flour. Though we think of it and cook it as a grain, couscous is actually a type of pasta. It’s one of the easiest, fastest, most versatile side dishes you can make. And it’s especially wonderful with stews or saucy main dishes. Depending on which brand you buy, you’ll find that there’s some variation on the suggested proportions of liquid to couscous.
To start, bring the cooking liquid (preferably a flavorful chicken or vegetable broth) to a boil in a medium pot. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a pad of butter, and a little salt.
Next, add the couscous. (I use 1-3/4 cups liquid to 1-1/2 cups couscous.)
Take the pan off the heat, cover, and let the couscous steam for 5 minutes.
When you lift the lid, the grains will appear flat in an even layer. Use a fork to fluff it up and break up the clumps for light and fluffy couscous.