Couscous with Asparagus, Chervil + White Wine

By • April 12, 2013 • 7 Comments

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Author Notes: This couscous recipe is a poor man’s risotto — an apt, if even paradoxical descriptor — that focuses on the cozy side of green, spring flavor. Israeli (or “pearl”) couscous is a lentil-sized pasta with an equally diminutive cooking time, so it cooks quickly in the reducing stock. Finished with salty cheese and the delicate licorice-flavored chervil, this recipe brings a bowl of yielding, soft flavors and textures of spring.CarolineWright

Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Israeli or pearl couscous
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces asparagus (3/4 bunch), trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino
  • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, toasted if desired
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped chervil leaves
  1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add couscous and cook until partially toasted, 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, 2 minutes. Meanwhile, heat broth in a second saucepan until warm.
  2. Add 1 cup broth to couscous and quickly simmer over medium-high heat until the couscous is silky and the liquid has nearly evaporated, about 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 2 1/2 cups broth, adding a cup at a time and cooking until each addition has nearly evaporated. Before the last addition, add asparagus to remaining hot broth (about 1 1/2 cups). (Stir asparagus into couscous with last cup of broth.)
  3. Once couscous is tender and all the broth has been added, stir in Pecorino, pistachios, chervil and remaining butter. Sprinkle servings with additional Pecorino, pistachios and chervil, if desired. Serve immediately.

Comments (7) Questions (0)

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4 months ago Chaimi

where does the garlic come in?

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11 months ago Ceege

Hmmmm, sounds delicious. As soon as I get all the ingredients I will try this. I will more than likely use farro for the grain in this dish as I am not always able to find pearl couscous in my neck of the woods. Will let you all know how it turns out.

Open-uri.20247

12 months ago Farmer Ken

Just made this and it was delicious. I substituted tarragon as my chervil is too small to cut yet.
One note: no where does it say what yo do with the garlic clove.

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12 months ago Mark Campidonica

I live out in the boonies and our small market often does not have Gourmet ingredients on hand. So I improvise. I always wonder what the recipe would taste like if I used the original ingredients. That said, I put the garlic in with the normal couscous when I browned it along with the chopped pistacios. I used Parmesan cheese instead of whatever Pecorino is. Also, our market has trouble keeping dill in stock, much less chervil. So, I added a half of teaspoon of fennel seed a the beginning of the stock reduction steps. Also I put the asparagus in after the second addition of fluid to make sure it got cooked. Tastes fantastic! I still wonder what the original recipe would have tasted like!

Littlepig

12 months ago BruceC

Step five: Before serving, rub the finely chopped garlic over your chest, and chant "Shakti, shakti, shakti" six times in a soft, droning voice.

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12 months ago Mark Campidonica

It's Asparagus season! Great to have more ideas on how to use the stuff.

0057_jennings

12 months ago Anne Jennings

Delish! I made this for my family and it was a big hit!