Barbecue Brunch Side Dish

Spicy Scallion Couscous

Couscous can be served straight from the stove or chilled in the refrigerator. Either way it’s a delicious side for just about any dish, but absolutely perfect for a BBQ. There are two styles of couscous, the larger Israeli (pearl) which are the size of small pellets, and the smaller version pictured above.

Couscous is a staple in Mediterranean cooking, but keep in mind the diversity in this style of cuisine. Take a look at how the Mediterranean touches a wide array of countries: Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. There is a big difference between a dinner in Rabat and the beaches of Greece. All are excellent. This is our take on a couscous dish that taps into a host of flavors.


  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 1 quart of homemade chicken stock (a carton from your supermarket will be fine as well)
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 red hot chili peppers, quartered (keep the seeds)
  • Zest of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped down to the white stem
  • 1 cup feta cheese in brine, drained and crumbled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • You can serve with lemon wedges if you like

Making It

  • Bring the stock, butter, salt and chili peppers to a boil. Add the couscous and return to a boil. Take off the heat and cover, let sit for 7-8 minutes, then remove lid and discard the red chili peppers. Make sure you get all 8 chunks or someone might hit the floor if they bite into one.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest & juice and olive oil, then add to the couscous and stir in immediately after cooking until absorbed. Let cool for 20 minutes and add the scallions and feta. Season to taste and either serve or refrigerate. You can serve chilled or at room temperature.
  • Finish off the dish with more chopped scallions, crumbled feta and lemon wedges.

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