Braised Spring Vegetables with Israeli Couscous

Staff Writer
Braised Spring Vegetables with Israeli Couscous
Braised Spring Vegetables with Israeli Couscous
Viviane Bauquet Farre

Braised Spring Vegetables with Israeli Couscous

This recipe makes the most of the season’s best ingredients — snappy artichokes, young carrots, fresh peas, and their tender shoots — and will guide you through each step of the braising process.

On a side note, if using fresh artichokes seems too daunting or time-consuming, you can use frozen ones. The recipe will still be absolutely delicious. If do you have a little time on your hands, though, follow the instructions for fresh artichokes — you won’t regret it.

See all couscous recipes.

Click here to see 10 Great Dishes to Make with Frozen Vegetables

 

4
Servings
489
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Notes

*Note: If using frozen artichoke hearts, do not thaw.

Ingredients

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 medium-sized artichokes (or one 8-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts)*
  • 5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large shallots, peeled, quartered, and sliced finely
  • 1 1/2 Cup dry white wine
  • 1 Teaspoon saffron threads, gently pounded in a mortar to a coarse powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely plus 1 whole clove, peeled
  • 2 1/2 Cups water
  • 2 Cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 medium-sized, young carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8-by-1-inch sticks
  • 4 Ounces shelled fresh or frozen peas
  • 8 Ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut on a bias into 1-inch pieces
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Ounces pea shoots, chopped into 2-inch pieces (or baby arugula)
  • Crumbled goat-milk feta or fresh goat cheese, for garnish

Directions

Fill a medium-sized bowl with cold water and add the lemon juice. If using fresh artichokes, trim the artichokes by bending back the outer leaves until they snap off close to the base. Repeat until only the tender yellow leaves remain.

Slice 2 inches off the top and dip the artichokes in the lemon-water. Cut the stems off at the base. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the dark green parts around the heart and down the stems (the stems are edible).

Quarter the artichoke hearts lengthwise, remove the choke, and slice into ¼-inch-thick slices. Cut the stems into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place all slices in the lemon-water until ready to use.

Drain the artichoke slices and shake off excess water. Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Add ¼ cup of the olive oil and the artichoke slices. Toss well and sauté until golden, tossing only a couple of times, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the shallots and sauté until softened, about 1-2 minutes. Add the wine, saffron, and chopped garlic. Bring to a full boil and then reduce heat to between medium and medium-low. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the couscous, ½ teaspoon of the salt, remaining olive oil, and garlic. Stir well and simmer vigorously for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cover the pot. Let stand for 20-25 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid. Flake with a fork and keep warm.

While the couscous is standing, continue preparing the braised vegetables. Add the carrots to the artichokes, toss well, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peas and asparagus, toss well, cover the pan, and continue to simmer until the asparagus are tender but still a bit crunchy, about 5-7 minutes.

Uncover the pan. Raise heat to high, add the remaining salt, and season with black pepper, to taste. Add the pea shoots. Toss until the pea shoots are wilted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Immediately remove from the heat.

To serve, spoon the Israeli couscous in shallow bowls. Top with the braised vegetables. Drizzle with the pan juices. Garnish with a little crumbled cheese and additional olive oil. Serve immediately.

Vegetable Shopping Tip

Look for vegetables that are firm and bright in color – avoid those that are wilted or have wrinkled skins, which are signs of age and damage.

Vegetable Cooking Tip

Vegetables should typically be cooked as quickly as possible, as they can become bland and mushy, and lose vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
1g
2%
Sugar
9g
N/A
Saturated Fat
0.2g
1.1%
Protein
18g
36%
Carbs
94g
31%
Vitamin A
373µg
41%
Vitamin B6
0.5mg
25.8%
Vitamin C
33mg
55%
Vitamin E
1mg
7%
Vitamin K
117µg
100%
Calcium
131mg
13%
Fiber
14g
54%
Folate (food)
155µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
155µg
39%
Iron
5mg
27%
Magnesium
127mg
32%
Monounsaturated
0.1g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
5mg
27%
Phosphorus
317mg
45%
Polyunsaturated
0.4g
N/A
Potassium
938mg
27%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.3mg
16.9%
Sodium
618mg
26%
Thiamin (B1)
0.4mg
27.4%
Zinc
2mg
13%

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