Serves 4 to 6
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 shallots, diced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 1/2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cinnamon stick
1 lime, zest and juice
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
4 fresh apricots, pits removed and sliced or 1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
1/2 cup almond slivers or slices
1 cup green onions (white & light green parts), sliced on the diagonal
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat a heavy-bottom saute pan over medium heat. Add several tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, the garlic and shallots. Saute for about 1 minute. Add the couscous, stir to coat with the olive oil and continue to saute until the couscous starts to turn a very light brown, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly, and especially make sure the garlic does not burn.
Add the water, cinnamon stick, cumin, lime zest, salt and pepper, to taste. Raise heat until the water begins to boil, then lower to a simmer, cover and cook until most of the water has been absorbed by the couscous, about 5 to 8 minutes. (Times may vary, so it is a good idea to check the package for the particular couscous that you are using.) While the couscous is cooking, gently toast the almonds over low heat in a small pan until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning the almonds.
Add the mint, apricots, toasted almonds, and lime juice to the pan, stir, cover and continue to cook until the water is fully absorbed, about 2 to 4 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick, fluff up the couscous, add the sliced green onions, taste, adjust seasoning and serve.