Israeli couscous, also called pearl couscous, is a staple of many Israeli tables, and can be a blank canvas for lots of other flavors. You can find it made with sweet ingredients like raisins, lots of herbs, or in this version, mushrooms and kale.
- 2 cups Israeli couscous
- 8 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 6 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated (about ½ cup)
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- ¾ cup diced onion
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups coarsely chopped maitake or cremini mushrooms
- ½ bunch kale, shredded (about 2 cups packed)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the couscous with 1 tablespoon of the oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake until the couscous is dark brown and smells nutty, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a saucepan and adjust the heat to maintain a simmer.
- Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the carrot, garlic, and ½ cup of the diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the toasted couscous and stir to coat well with the oil. Add the wine and tomato puree and cook until the wine has evaporated and the tomato puree reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper and salt
- Start adding the vegetable stock to the skillet in ½ cup increments, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the liquid simmering. Stir often until the liquid has been absorbed before adding the next ½ cup of liquid. It will take about 40 minutes for all the liquid to be absorbed and the couscous to be cooked through.
- In a clean skillet, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat and add the mushrooms and the remaining ¼ cup onion. Cook until the onion has softened and the mushrooms have released their liquid and begun to brown at the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the kale and cook just until the leaves are tender and wilted, about 5 more minutes. Off the heat, swirl in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Fold the mushroom-kale mixture into the couscous. Just before serving, fold in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.