Recipe: Breakfast Couscous
Serves: 2 huge eaters
Coffee: French Press Afrique

What makes couscous work in this recipe is also what made it so valuable in its original home of North African cooking: absorbency. When precious bits and pieces of meat were skewered and laid across a communal bed of couscous, it could trap the valuable juices – same with vegetable stews. During the 20th century North African migration, couscous became very popular in France, especially in the southern region. They might not forgive us for using an instant version, but in doing so, we can make a filling and fragrant breakfast bowl in 10 minutes. However, breakfast at La Colombe doesn’t always mean a morning meal. Years of roasting round the clock changed that for us, and now specific foods associated with specific times don’t have the same meaning. We eat it when we crave it.

2½  cups water
½ teaspoon orange blossom water (optional)*
½ cup dried fruit
Pinch salt
1 cup instant couscous
To taste: honey
To taste: ground cinnamon

* We say optional. But it totally gives the couscous a little North African touch, and when you can’t figure out what to do with the rest of the bottle, use it sparingly in whipped cream or mascarpone, panna cotta or even make simple syrup with it. Great for cocktails.

Add the water, orange blossom water (if using), raisins, and salt to a medium-sized saucepot, and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Stir in couscous and continue to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Let sit for 5 minutes. Scoop the couscous into bowls. Drizzle honey, and shake cinnamon liberally over top. Serve warm.


    1. “Nielsen Massey All Natural Orange Flower Water 2 fl oz” is what we used bought from the international market on 42nd St. and Market St., Philadelphia. Whatever the brand, we suggest getting the smallest bottle available, a little goes a long way.

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