Israeli Couscous with Asparagus, Peas, and Sugar Snaps

I was looking for a nice, light, refreshing vegetarian dish to make for dinner, and this one caught my eye. It was substantial enough for dinner - I'd say you can get 3 main course servings out of it. The vinaigrette was light and tangy, and all of the green veggies gave it a wonderful texture. I added some freshly shaved Parmesan to the top for a nice finishing touch. It was great!

Israeli Couscous with Asparagus, Peas, and Sugar Snaps
Bon Appétit June 2010

Makes 6 servings

Israeli couscous is small, round, toasted pasta with grains about the size of peppercorns. Serve this dish chilled or at room temperature.

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous (6 to 7 ounces)
1 3/4 cups (or more) vegetable broth
14 ounces slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup shelled fresh green peas or frozen, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and lemon peel in small bowl; set dressing aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until most of couscous is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 3/4 cups broth, increase heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if too dry.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, green peas, and remaining garlic clove. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.

Add couscous to bowl with vegetables. Drizzle dressing over. Add chives and cheese; toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Test-kitchen tip:
To trim asparagus, hold onto the top of the stalk with one hand and bend the bottom of the stalk with your other hand. The stalk will snap, separating the woody end from the tender top.

Ingredient tip: Some sugar snap peas have a tough string running along the top of the pod. To remove it, snap off the leaf end and pull the string.

MacGourmet Rating: 4 Stars

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