This delicious risotto is made with pearl couscous and asparagus three ways — roasted, sautéed, and puréed. Creamy and bursting with spring flavor, this hearty dish really celebrates asparagus. Risotto is creamy and luxurious on its own, but adding the asparagus purée makes it even more luxurious.

Israeli Couscous Risotto [Vegan]

Serves

4-6

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Ingredients

For the Roasted Asparagus:

  • 1/3 of your asparagus, chopped (4-5 oz)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

For the Sautéed Asparagus:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/3 of your asparagus  (4-5 oz)

For the Asparagus Purée:

  • 1/3 of your asparagus  (4-5 oz)
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • Pinch salt

Other:

  • 1 package of Israeli couscous
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
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Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
  2. Toss all the ingredients for the roasted asparagus and spread on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups of salted water in a small saucepan until boiling. Chop and add 1/3 of your asparagus to the boiling water and let cook.
  5. In another deep pot, combine oil, garlic, and onion over low-medium heat until sizzling. Stir until onions are translucent and add pepper, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, and basil. Chop the last third of the asparagus and add to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium.
  6. Add the dry couscous to the pot and toss with the sautéed asparagus, watching to see the couscous toast to a golden brown color.
  7. Drain the boiling water/asparagus by placing a pot under a colander to collect the cooking water. Take the cooked asparagus and process it with 1/4 cup (new) water and a pinch of salt until liquefied. Set purée aside.
  8. Take the reserved cooking water and reheat in the old saucepan until boiling.
  9. Add the boiling water to the lightly toasted couscous/sautéed asparagus in the larger pot and turn the heat up to medium-high.
  10. Stir thoroughly to prevent the couscous from sticking — it will cook quickly.
  11. Stir in the asparagus purée and add salt and pepper to taste.
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