Red onions with cous cous, California prunes, pistachios, cinnamon, curcuma, and a hint of fresh mint.
It is a savory, beautiful, Mediterranean, colorful, and healthy dish for a fall night.
The most famous cous cous are a North-African tradition: you can find them in Maghreb, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and last but not least, in Sicily, Italy. The origins of this recipe come from the VII – IX century B.C., even though the legend says that King Solomon used to eat cous cous to soften the emotional sufferings from Queen of Sheba.
Cous Cous, a diverse culinary tradition
The history of cous cous lasts a thousand years, it is a social food like bread and rice. It is also a finger food, considering that in the Arabic world the cous cous is consumed with the other guests from a common plate, making small balls with your hands.
The cous cous recipes vary from Country to Country, and also from Region to Region.
You can prepare this plate with vegetables, meat, fish, but it can also be sweet, spicy, and seasoned.
Moreover, you can make it luxiourious if you choose the red onions with cous cous and California prunes, that enrich the typical Moroccan fragrances, like we do in this recipe.
- 8 medium red onions
- 100 g couscous precooked
- 60 g unpitted Califorina Prunes
- 50 g di pistachios
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 300 ml vegetable broth (o water)
- 2 tbsp EVO
- pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- ground black pepper
- a few fresh mint leaves
- pinch of cucrcuma
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cut the top of the red onions and keep them aside. Cut a little bit also the base of the onions, so they stand still in the baking pan.
- Put the onions on a backing pan, add 1/2 cup of broth, sprinkle with EVO, and bake them for 1 hour.
- Let them cool down, open the tops, take out the onions' inside, and mash it.
- Sautée the onions purée with 2 tbsp of EVO for a few minutes, add the cinnamon and the cous cous until it browns. Add 100 ml of broth, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and let it cook.
- In another pan, sautés the California prunes with EVO for 2 minutes. Add ground pistachios, and let it brown for 2 more minutes, while stirring.
- Once the cous cous is ready, add it to the prunes and pistachios, stirring for a few more minutes.
- Switch off the heat, add the mint leaves, a teaspoon of curcuma, and some ground black pepper.
- Stuff the onions with the cous cous, cover with the tops, add the remaining broth and a pinch of butter, and bake them for 20 minutes.
- Let them cool down, and serve.
The Legendary California Prunes
To make this recipe we suggest to use the California Prunes, overall the best in the world.
Indeed, the California Prunes Board brings together more than 800 growers. California Prunes are descendants of the original imported Petit d’Agen stock. Unlike other varieties, these prunes ripen fully on the tree — pit and all — without fermenting. California grows 99% of the total United States’ production of prunes and 40% of the world’s supply. That got the California Prunes the approval by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority).
Today, there are about 46,000 acres of California Prune orchards concentrated in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.
The fertile soil, a long summer season, and the generous rains created the ideal conditions to grow sweet and juicy prunes that naturally ripe under the California sun.
The dry prunes have a tweet flavor, but they have no added sugar; they have no fats and no saturated fats, so they help maintain normal levels of cholesterol in your blood; they have no salt and sodium, and we all know that reducing the consuming of sodium helps to maintain a normal level of blood pressure. They are tasteful, healthy, nutritious and cheap.
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Martina and Elisa