Pressure Cooker Faves by Lorna Sass

Mediterranean Vegetable Couscous

  • 1 to 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 1/2-inch strips (about 2 1/2 cups; chop and reserve
  • fronds) or 2 celery stalks sliced 1/2-inch, plus 1/2 tsp.fennel seeds
  • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/4 lb. mushrooms, halved
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup pitted oil-cured black olives
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil or parsley
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pressure cooker. Add garlic; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until just browned. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute. Add water, fennel bulb or celery and fennel seeds, bell pepper, carrot, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, olives, basil, oregano, salt, cinnamon and pepper. Lock lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. Lower heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook 2 minutes. Reduce pressure using quick-release method. Remove lid. Stir in 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, and couscous. Replace lid; allow to steam 5 minutes until couscous is tender. Add fennel fronds if using, basil, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and additional vinegar or lemon juice to taste. Stir well. Serves 6. VARIATION: Leftovers are terrific at room temperature when drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice, and garnished with olives.


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