These couscous cakes are a busy person’s lifesaver. In under 20 minutes you can have an elegant, delicious and wholesome meal on the table. They are a great make-ahead dish and freeze fantastically. If you find yourself constantly on the go but want a healthy meal or snack, this is the perfect recipe for you!
I am on a mad dash to create fifteen 20 minute meals to present to the television producers :: produttori televisivi for when I will appear on Italy’s most famous national television cooking show, La Prova del Cuoco, this September. My first attempt was these couscous cakes, and, boy, were they a winner. Hopefully the judges will think so as well!
Buttery avocado and smooth cannellini are mashed together with crunchy bread crumbs :: pane grattugiato, aromatic basil, pungent chives and to add some heat, I’ve thrown in some finely diced hot peppers. Now toss in the cooked couscous to add texture and drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil and Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena from La Vecchia Dispensa. (One of my favorite balsamic vinegar producers.) Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper before scooping up handfuls of the mixture to form 6 patties. Pour in a few spoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and set the couscous cakes con top and cook until the out layer turns a nice golden hue. If you prefer a lighter version, you can skip the oil and heat the couscous cakes directly on the pan, although they won’t brown as nicely.
Arrange the couscous cakes on a serving plate, or over arugula :: rucola that has been tossed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top each cake with a dollop of greek yogurt and scatter some chives over the creamy white mountain. If you want to impress your guests and have them drooling over your food, remember this gold rule: garnish, garnish, garnish. Just check out the difference it makes in the photo below!
Now comes the best part: devouring these little cakes. If any remain (which, I assure you will be unlikely) you can store them in the refrigerator; just reheat them for a few minutes or enjoy them cold. Double :: raddoppiate the batch and pop these couscous cakes in the freezer for a meal to have on hand for unexpected guests or an unexpected change in your lunch or evening plans.
- ¼ cup (48g) couscous
- ½ ripe avocado* (very important that it is mature)
- ½ cup canned cannellini beans (or other white bean), drained
- ¼ cup (33g) finely ground bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup (7g) loosely packed basil, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons (10g) chives, finely chopped + more for garnish
- ½ hot pepper (green or red), finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Organic Balsamic Vinegar of Modena by La Vecchia Dispensa
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Pinch of sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- Greek yogurt, as needed (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the couscous with ¼ cup hot (but not boiling) water. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mash the avocado and cannellini beans together then toss in the bread crumbs, basil, chives, hot pepper, balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper. Stir in the couscous and form 6 patties with your hands.
- Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet. Set the patties on top and cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until the outer layer has a nice golden hue. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt and sprinkle chopped chives on top. Serve alone or with salad greens that have been tossed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Note: This post is not paid by La Vecchia Dispensa. They were kind to send me some samples of their products; I only support the companies I believe in and the products I love and would use myself.
If you want to discover other delicious balsamic vinegar recipes try out these peach scones with brandy and fig balsamic vinegar glaze.
Or substitute the saba with balsamic vinegar in these pear, walnut and burrata bruschetta with Organic Apple Saba