When I was in college, one of the most wonderful things about going home was knowing that my mom would have a wonderful meal waiting for my arrival. After driving four hours, usually at night after class, there was nothing better than sitting down to a big bowl of hot beef stew with her famous buttermilk biscuits.
So when my mom let me know she was going to visit me this weekend to work on wedding crafts, I knew I needed to return the favor and get to cooking something for dinner. For weeks now, I’ve had a box of Israeli (aka ‘pearl) couscous from Trader Joe’s in my pantry and thought this would be the perfect excuse to experiment with a new-to-me ingredient.
I’ve eaten Israeli couscous a number of times and fell in love with the chewy, dense texture that’s a cross between brown rice and pasta. Thankfully, my mom likes to cook and eat simply, so I kept it beautifully basic. A little garlic, paprika, cooked in low-sodium vegetable broth to enhance the flavor, then topped with grated Parmesan cheese, lemon and olive oil.
Lemon Parmesan Israeli Couscous
*1 tablespoon olive oil
*1 clove garlic, chopped
*1/2 tsp. paprika
*1 1/3 cups Israeli (pearl) couscous
*2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
*1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
*1/2 a lemon
*Additional olive oil
*Bring the broth to boiling in a small sauce pan.
*Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic, paprika and the couscous. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until cous cous is slightly browned and the garlic is fragrant.
*Add in the boiling broth to the couscous mixture. Cover and simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until couscous and chewy and tender and almost all the broth is absorbed.
*Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.