Couscous isn’t a grain, as some people may think – it's actually a type of pasta made from durum wheat and shaped like a grain. The couscous you have in your pantry is most likely instant couscous that's been steamed and dried so it cooks very quickly, for a fast and easy side dish or base for a salad or bowl. Look for whole wheat couscous in your supermarket; it cooks in the same time as the regular variety and has all the virtues of whole wheat pasta. This recipe makes a big batch for make-ahead meal prep but is easily halved.
Combine the water or broth, olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous and immediately remove from the heat. Cover and let sit 5 minutes.
Fluff the couscous thoroughly with a fork (the more you fluff, the more separate and light the grains will be). Season with salt and pepper. If you are making the couscous ahead, spread while hot on a baking sheet lined with parchment to stop the cooking as it cools. Once cool, refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days.
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