Toasting couscous grains and using broth deepens the flavor

This undated photo provided by America's Test Kitchen in December 2018 shows Simple Couscous with Dates and Pistachios in Brookline, Mass. This recipe appears in the cookbook "Complete Mediterranean." (Daniel J. van Ackere/America's Test Kitchen via AP)

Couscous is one of the fastest and easiest side dishes to prepare. A staple in Morocco and other North African countries, it is traditionally served under stews and braises to soak up the flavorful sauce. But because it often plays sidekick, the grain is too often left bland and unexciting.