I haven’t been this excited about stumbling across an ingredient since my ras el hanout find. Thoughts of gluten-free couscous have crossed my mind many times but I wasn’t sure it existed and have never actively sought it. When I saw the Lundberg Brown Rice Couscous at the store I thought I should try it and share my experience with you.
What it is
Unlike wheat couscous, Lundberg Brown Rice Couscous is not made by rolling flour into bits. The grains of rice are cut into tiny pieces to emulate couscous particles. The texture reminded me of that of steel cut oats. I bought plain roasted brown rice couscous but the brand also comes flavored with herbs, curry or roasted garlic.
How it is cooked
Following the box instructions, I used two parts water to one part couscous. I boiled the water with salt, added the couscous, reduced the heat to the lowest setting, covered the pan with a lid and cooked the couscous for 12 minutes—the instructions specified 10 to 15 minutes and didn’t call for any oil or butter. After that I removed the pan from heat. Leaving the lid on, I let it sit for 5 minutes then fluffed it with a fork. It is fairly quick to prepare but not as quick as the five-minute instant whole wheat couscous I’m used to.
What it tastes like
The ingredients are comprised of one ingredient, organic brown rice, and that’s exactly what the couscous tasted like. It had a wholesome roasted whole grain taste that I think I liked more than that of whole wheat couscous but the texture was stickier and the grains didn’t seem to fully separate.
What I would do next time
I stirred some olive oil into the couscous at the end but still couldn’t get it to fluff up as much as I wanted. Next time I will add oil to the boiling water and see if that helps. I will post an update.
The preparation tasted more like rice than authentic couscous but I still enjoyed it very much.
I served the couscous with a generous portion of mint-basil pesto on top, a bit of hot sauce and cooked shrimp. It was delicious.
MINT-BASIL PESTO RECIPE
Yield: 1 cup
Total Time: 5 min
2 cups packed basil leaves
10 mint leaves
3 garlic cloves
¼ cup pine nuts
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Place the basil, mint, garlic and pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until coarsely chopped, 15 seconds. Add the salt and pepper. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and process until the pesto is pureed. Add the Parmesan and process for another 30 seconds.