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Perfect Israeli Couscous

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Couscous with roasted vegetables
J. Sheperd/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

Israeli Couscous is a delightfully soft, satisfying, healthy pasta grain that is a delicious substitute to your average pasta and rice. Some cooks boil it and then strain it like pasta, others simmer it in water as one would pasta or small couscous, but after trying all of these, this is the best way I've found to enjoy it! The act of lightly toasting the couscous first adds flavor and keeps the texture from being mushy.

Feel free to substitute the mushrooms with another vegetable of your choice--sauteed or steamed broccoli or spinach have been wonderful additions to my family's Israeli couscous dishes, as has the occasional sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Add tofu--seared, steamed, baked or fried--to keep this meal vegan, or add grilled fish or another healthy protein to add a little bit of heartiness.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups Israeli Couscous
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 lb. crimini mushrooms, halved
  • 3 T. white wine
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 t. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

1. Prepare the couscous. In a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 2 T. olive oil. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Add the vegetable stock, bring the mixture to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is evaporated and the couscous is tender. Set aside.

2. While the couscous simmers, heat the remaining 1 T. olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and white wine and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the dried thyme, fresh parsley, and salt, stirring to combine, and cook for about 3-4 minutes more, or until most of the moisture of the mushrooms has evaporated.

3. Add the cooked Israeli couscous to the mushroom mixture tossing well to combine. Portion onto plates and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

*This recipe as written is suitable for dairy-free and vegan diets, but as with any recipe intended for persons with dietary restrictions or allergies, make sure to read the ingredients labels on all ingredients to make sure that there are no hidden dairy-derived ingredients or other allergens that apply to you.

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