israeli couscous with roasted cauliflower & calabrian chilies

Welcome to your new favorite ingredient. You're welcome.


I used to be such a wimp when it came to heat. Now I can't get enough, and Calabrian chilies* were the game changer. I first encountered them at one of my now favorite Italian restaurants in North Beach. I was having dinner there with Jack and sitting on the table was a little jar filled with them.

Jack, a big fan of spicy food, told me these chilies were one of the most delicious things he'd eaten on his trip to Italy, but when he tried to get me to try one I was like heck no.

"You don't know what you're missing out on," he said. Thinking they were super spicy, I dared him to eat a whole chili. When he easily downed it, I naturally dared him to keep going. Four chilies in with no smoke coming out of his ears made me wonder just how dangerously spicy these chilies actually were so I tried a tiny bite of one.

Mind. Blown. 

Calabrian chilies are infused with oil and salt, making them taste somewhat similar to olives but with a bit of a vinegary, smokey taste. Jack describes them as a cross between a chili and a caper. Their heat is strong but definitely not over the top. That night at dinner, I became so obsessed with them I ate chili after chili. Whole. On their own. Straight out of the jar. I couldn't get enough. This coming from a self proclaimed hater of all spicy food.

Heat is all relative, so I'm not suggesting you buy a jar and start downing chili after chili (though that would be pretty awesome). The perfect place to start is with this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower and Israeli Couscous with chopped Calabrian chilies and a bit of the chili oil. You can modify the amount of chilies and oil you add to suit your liking but fair warning, if you think you don't like spicy food, that's all about to change.

*Calabrian Chilies can be a bit difficult to find, so I suggest purchasing them here on Amazon.






Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 1/2 head cauliflower florets
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for dizzling
- 1 3/4 cups boiling water
- 6 Calabrian chilies, roughly chopped (or more/less) --> Buy these here on Amazon 
- 1 tablespoon Calabrian chili oil (or more/less)
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped and lightly packed
- 1 lemon

Instructions: 
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay cauliflower florets out on a baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Roast cauliflower in the oven for about 15 minuets.

2. Saute couscous with 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until it's lightly browned (about 5 minutes). Slowly add the boiling water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

3. In a large bowl, stir together cauliflower, couscous, chili peppers, chili oil, parsley and the juice of half the lemon. Divide into bowls and squeeze remaining lemon juice on top.

22 comments:

  1. I'm such a wimp when it comes to spiciness, but I've been trying to get better with experimenting with it. This dish looks like the perfect gateway to spiciness :)

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    1. I was the exact same! This is such a good way to experiment. These chilies are seriously one of my all time favorite foods. Just try a tiny piece to taste first! Also, just checked out your blog, super cute! I tried to leave a comment but it didnt go through :(

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  2. This looks so yummyyyy!!

    www.salmashaheensblog.com

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  3. I love Israeli cous cous and can't wait to give this a try! Your photography is gorgeous too!!

    xx Jean
    www.skylineblossoms.com

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    1. Thanks so much, Jean! I've recently become obsessed with Israeli couscous, its got such an amazing texture!

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  4. Yum! I've never had Israeli cous cous before so I'm definitely going to have to give this a go! x

    www.everytreeofthegarden.blogspot.com

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    1. It's super good and very easy to make! It's also easy to find at any grocery store :) Let me know if you have any questions!

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  5. Yum! This looks utterly delightful. I rarely ever cook with Israeli couscous so I should totally get this recipe a shot. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. I hadn't really either but I kept passing it in the grocery store and it looked like it would have great texture so I gave it a go and it was delicious! Hope you give it a try

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  6. I was just like you, first I didn't like hot food too much and now I can't get enough of it! But only until a certain level cause when it is too hot then you don't even taste the food anymore.... :) This looks very yummy and am a big couscous fan! Happy friday dear <3

    www.confashiontime.com

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    1. I feel exactly the same way! I don't enjoy it when it's so spicy none of the real flavors are coming through. In this dish, the level of spice is moderate and adds to the flavors rather than taking it away :)

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  7. Always love your perfect photos and your amazing recipes! This one looks delish my friend!!

    Xox Dana Ivy // www.iadorewhatilove.com

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    Replies
    1. You're so sweet, Dana! It really means a lot, thank you so much!!

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  8. This looks so amazing.. thank you for sharing! Would love to keep in touch and follow each other, let me know if you want to! x

    adelelydia.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Adele! I already am following you, love! Let me know if you want to follow back :)

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  9. It looks so delicious! I have to try this recipe! <3

    www.fashion-utopia.com

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    Replies
    1. I hope you do! Be sure to let me know what you think!

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  10. Great post! It looks good! xx

    http://theoceansdock.com

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  11. oh they look so yummy I'll love to try it
    Thanks for sharing such detailed recipe

    Glamorous without the Guilt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Definitely give it a try, it's amazing!

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