Every January, I complete a thorough purge of my pantry. You would be surprised at all the random items that land on my shelves after a year of various recipe assignments: 1/2 full boxes of pre-cooked lasagna noodles, too many spice blends too count and many, many assorted cans.
Some items with valid “use by” dates get donated while others are turned into dinners with intention, the intention of a clean pantry to start the new year. I happened upon a box of Isreali couscous in the back of my grain & rice shelf. With all of the couscous talk here at Flavorista, I couldn’t resist coming up with a recipe of my own.
I like to toast couscous before adding the cooking liquid because it adds a nice layer of flavor. This dish came together very quickly with convenience items and pantry items. Because it combines your vegetable and starch in one pan, all you need is a protein like a store-bought rotisserie chicken or you could even add 1 pound of peeled and deviened shrimp into the couscous for a one pan meal.
We shared this meal with neighbors and I am happy to report that it was kid-approved.
Isreali Couscous with Parmesan & Peas
Serves 4 – 6, depending on appetites
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 (8-oz) pkg. Isreali couscous (about 1 1/3 cups uncooked)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 (12-oz) pkg. steam in the bag frozen peas
1/4 cup finely chopped chives or flat parsley (optional)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a large skillet or medium soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. When hot, add the couscous, cook and stir until the couscous is toasted, about 3 minutes.
Add salt, pepper and broth. Stir and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the couscous is al dente. While the couscous simmers, prepare the peas according to package instructions.
Stir the cooked peas, lemon juice and the herbs (if using) into the couscous. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle the cheese over the couscous and then stir it into the couscous until melted and incorporated.