Israeli couscous is actually a type of toasted pasta, but the best way to cook it is to treat it like rice, with measured amount of water. This way of cooking will result al-dente and separated grains.Most times I cook it plain, but sometimes, like with the recipe here, I feel like preparing a bit more interesting version. So I’ve added some mushrooms and other vegetables and the result was a quick, “all in one pot” vegetarian dish which, topped with some goat cheese, is perfect for lunch.
The dish can also be served as a tasty side dish, especially with roasted chicken. Another tasty option for any leftovers, is to mix it with eggs and flour and fry the mixture into tasty crispy patties.
Whichever way you’ll choose to make this dish, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
1 medium onion, diced
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large carrot, diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 package (8oz, 225 grams) white mushrooms, legs removed, sliced
1 package (8oz, 225 grams) Baby Bella mushrooms, legs removed, sliced
1 cup Israeli couscous
2¼ cups water
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
For serving (optional): fresh goat cheese or thinly sliced Parmesan or Gruyere cheese
For the patties (optional):
1-2 Tbs flour
Oil for frying
1. Mix the onion, oil, salt and pepper in a large pot and fry over medium-high heat until the onion softens. Add the carrot and scallions. Mix and fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry, mixing occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add the couscous, mix well and fry for a minute. Add the water, cayenne and bay leaves. Mix and bring to the boil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Lower the heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for 15 minutes.
2. Turn off the heat and leave in the pot, covered, for 5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or with cheese on top.
3. To prepare the patties: depending on how much leftover you have, add 1-2 eggs and 1-2 tablespoon of flour and mix well. Preheat oil for shallow frying in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cups of the mixture to the hot oil and flatten with a spatula. Fry until golden on both sides.