Thursday, January 29, 2009

Israeli Couscous Pilaf

In addition to wanting to expand my horizons with grains, I've also been meaning to try Israeli couscous. Some people mistake this for a grain, but it's actually a pasta, as is regular couscous. Either way, it's fun to say. Repeat it a couple of times and see what you think -couscous, couscous. Good times, eh? The Israeli version is bigger than regular couscous and it also has a chewier texture. I think it has a lot of potential to be used in cold salads or mixed up with some roasted veggies. I will definitely continue to explore more recipes to use it with.
This dish reminded me a little of a risotto because the couscous was so starchy. I may have added too much liquid and I think the mushrooms helped add to this texture. I'm guessing it's supposed to be a bit drier. I thought about adding some grated cheese at the end, but decided to stay true to the recipe. I thought it made for a nice earthy winter side dish, and paired well with some roasted brussel sprouts on the side.

Israeli Couscous Pilaf
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tblspns olive oil
8-10 oz mushrooms chopped, any kind or mixed. I used baby bellas.
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 1/2 cups veggie broth (preferably a non-tomato based one)
salt pepper

1. Saute onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for about 2-3minutes, then add the mushrooms until they soften and just start to brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. I also added a little oregano when I added the mushrooms. A little thyme could possibly be good instead.
2. Add the couscous and broth, season with salt and pepper, then turn the heat down to simmer. Cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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