Make Ahead

Truffled Israeli Cous Cous with Meyer Lemon and Basil

April 13, 2011
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side
Author Notes

A friend of mine gave me a small bottle of authentic black truffle oil from Italy for my birthday. It is the most luscious ingredient I've ever used in my cooking. So I've been experimenting with it (sparingly) and discovered this delightful dish that could be made easily with ingredients found every day in your refrigerator. For instance:

Don't have truffle oil? Use high quality EVOO instead
Don't have wild mushrooms? Use baby bellas
Don't have Israeli Cous Cous? Use regular cous cous, farro, barley, or orzo
Don't have basil? Use parsley
Don't have Meyer Lemon? Use regular lemon

The variations are endless although I think this version will be my favorite. And I think the best part of this dish (next to the truffle oil) is that it can be made in less than 30 minutes! —ModernSwap

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup pearled (Israeli) cous cous
  • 3/4 pound wild mushrooms, mixed varieties (for mine I used chanterelle, oyster, and baby bella)
  • 1 meyer lemon
  • 1/4 cup packed coarsely chopped basil
  • 1/4 fresh grated parmesan (I like using a microplane to get a really fine shred)
  • 1 tablespoon black truffle oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper
  1. Cook cous cous according to packaging and when done remove from heat.
  2. Wash mushrooms and then chop into large bite size pieces. Dry saute (do not add oil or liquid) over medium heat until liquids start to release and mushrooms brown and soften - about 8 minutes.
  3. While cous cous and mushrooms are cooking, zest lemon and then squeeze juice into a medium sized serving bowl.
  4. Add shredded parmesan and basil to bowl and mix together gently.
  5. By now your mushrooms and cous cous are done. Allow both to cool a bit before mixing into the bowl - you want to mix while warm but not hot.
  6. Drizzle with truffle oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Enjoy!
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13 Reviews

Alli April 29, 2020
We have put this into our home rotation as a true favorite. We eat it on birthdays and anniversaries. It is seriously delicious! I like using parsley instead of basil just because I love parsley. I definitely recommend!
Bob Q. February 20, 2018
A question...WASH the mushrooms? Really? I learned in cullinary class in Paris, that you should never wash mushrooms but use a mushroom brush to remove soil and/or other debris, that washing will result in soggy mushy 'rooms' (they absorbe liquids when raw). Was I misled? I learned this in the 70's when I was a young food explorer, an have never washed or peeled my mushrooms since, and I'm still alive, kicking and loving my wild 'rooms'.
CailinH February 12, 2014
Made this tonight- sooo tasty! Light but simultaneously rich flavor. Who knew!
Patti February 12, 2014
Can I use pearl barley instead? I have a ton of it!
Sabine G. February 12, 2014
I wouldn't see why not. The texture may be a bit different and the grain a bit heavier but I am sure it will still be delicious! I could see bulgur being great as well.
Josie M. May 18, 2015
I used cold leftover barley and it was great. Had to add a little extra olive oil.
dreonrice August 10, 2013
What's the difference between white and black truffle oil? Anyone?
Sabine G. July 31, 2013
Yum! This came out simply delicious!
daisybrain July 25, 2013
Made this for dinner last night and man what a hit. I added some shallots to the bowl with the basil and lemon and topped it with some crumbled feta. I also used more of everything and doubled the amount of couscous. With my family of 3 there were no leftovers. Thanks a lot.
juliunruly July 24, 2013
This is a *fantastic* vegetarian main. I was a little worried about the lemon with the truffle oil, but it works wonderfully. I added fresh corn that I sauteed with olive oil and the mushroom scrapings after dry-sauteeing those. I feel like it would look even more perfect with some sweet, ripe, red summer cherry tomatoes mixed in at the very end. I may try that next time.
ModernSwap July 22, 2013
1/4 cup!
Is that 1/4 cup or lb Parmesan?
Sagegreen April 18, 2011
Thanks, I have no excuses: must try!