Make Ahead

Vanilla Bean and Saffron Pearl Couscous Pudding + Honey-Roasted Cardamom Pistachios

March 20, 2023
0 Ratings
Photo by Finchly
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

That's a mouthful to say and eat, right? This was one of those recipes that got me good; I had a hunch that it would be great, but not the kind of great that would result in eating all four servings in 36 hours, give or take a few (it's definitely take, btw). It's the kind of great that captivates: you find yourself daydreaming during meetings, distracted by its lure while your kid is trying to tell you about their day, and unable to walk past the fridge without grabbing a spoon, scooping up an egregious amount, crumbling a few pistachios on top of the dainty mountain, and savoring every moment from the creamy tip of your tongue to the lingering toothsome texture when it's gone. Of course, quickly followed by the rationale that it was only a spoonful- until four servings were long gone.

Without hyperbole, this is one of my favorite recipes. Wooed by the flavors of rich vanilla bean, warm saffron, sweet cardamom, and earthy pistachio, the dish casts its spell in texture: crunchy nuts, the snap of burnt honey, the viscosity of thick, luscious cream, and the mouthfeel of the pearl couscous that at first may surprise you, but ultimately leaves you thinking, "ah, that makes perfect sense." —Finchly

What You'll Need
  • Vanilla Bean and Saffron Couscous Pudding
  • 1/2 cup pearl couscous
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split down the middle
  • Good pinch of saffron threads
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Honey-Roasted Cardamom Pistachios
  • 1 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Vanilla Bean and Saffron Couscous Pudding
  2. In a medium saucepan, stir together all the ingredients except the vanilla extract.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer while stirring often until most of the liquids are absorbed by the couscous- about 35 minutes.
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, remove the vanilla bean, and stir in the vanilla extract. The pudding will thicken and set as it cools down. You can either eat the pudding warm or move it to a storage container and let it thoroughly chill in the fridge-it will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
  5. When ready to serve, top with the honey pistachios.
  1. Honey-Roasted Cardamom Pistachios
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and lightly spray it with nonstick spray.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the pistachios, honey, cardamom, and vanilla. Spread out evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake the nuts for 10 minutes. Remove the pan and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Scrap the honeyed nuts into a small bowl with the granulated sugar and salt. Toss the nuts to coat evenly and then spread them evenly on a plate or piece of parchment paper to cool completely before storing them in an air-tight container.

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