I’ve always admired (and kind of resented) those people who genuinely love eating their greens. I’ll eat my greens, but I’m not exactly enthusiastic about them…unless it’s broccoli. I ate a lot of stir-fried or steamed broccoli as a kid and liked it well enough, but then sometime in the last few years, I “discovered” roasted broccoli and fell head over heels in love with it. There aren’t many veggies that turn me into the food police to make sure I get an equal portion (this is the only other one that comes to mind), but if you come between me and my roasted broccoli, we’re gonna have a problem. The charred yet slightly sweet flavor and those crispy little bits on the tops of the florets? YUM.
While my taste buds would be perfectly content to munch on a huge bowl of roasted broccoli for dinner, my stomach would be growling a few hours later, so I decided to create a more filling dish that still celebrates the flavor and texture of roasted broccoli. And indeed, this roasted broccoli couscous packs a ton of flavor, despite its somewhat lackluster appearance. Minced garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and nutty whole wheat couscous round out the smoky, caramelized taste of the roasted broccoli, and since they’re all fairly compact ingredients, you get a little of everything in each bite!
The recipe as listed is intended to be a side dish, but you can easily expand it into a full meal by topping it with some fried eggs. I’ve also found that avocado makes a great addition (to be fair, avocado makes a great addition to most dishes). It may not be the most glamorous meal ever, but it’s pretty freaking delicious! Everyone needs a few go-to recipes for something easy, healthy, and satisfying, and this roasted broccoli couscous definitely fits that bill for me. I hope it will for you as well!
- 2 broccoli crowns (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional, see note)
- 1 cup whole wheat couscous
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Remove and discard the tough outer skin of the broccoli. Cut the broccoli into florets and place the florets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil over the broccoli; sprinkle with sugar (if using), salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Roast for 20 minutes or until the broccoli has reached your preferred level of charred-ness.
- Prepare the couscous according to the directions on the package. This will most likely call for 1 part couscous and 1 part water.
- Toast the sesame seeds: place the seeds in a small skillet or pan and heat over medium-low, stirring periodically, until they turn a light brown color (about 3-5 minutes).
- Optional (if you don’t object to raw garlic, feel free to skip this step): transfer the sesame seeds from the skillet to a separate bowl or plate, and heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in the skillet over medium for 1-2 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring to prevent it from sticking.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, lemon juice, honey, and garlic.
- Once the broccoli is done, chop it into roughly bite-sized pieces. Combine the chopped broccoli, couscous, and dressing. Top individual portions with toasted sesame seeds.
- Serves 5-6 as a side dish, 3 as an entrée
- To turn this into a light entrée, I recommend adding a fried egg on top of each portion. Diced avocado also makes a great addition.
- According to America's Test Kitchen, adding a little bit of sugar to the broccoli helps it brown more evenly. I'm honestly not sure that I can tell the difference between broccoli with sugar and without (which is why I've listed it as optional), but give it a try and decide for yourself!