Israeli couscous primavera with morels

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 ounces Dried morels, rinsed
2 pounds Fresh fava beans, shelled or
1 cup Green peas, fresh or frozen
½ pounds Medium asparagus, trimmed
¾ pounds Baby leeks or ramps, trimmed or
¾ pounds Thin medium leeks white and light green only
4 tablespoons Butter
2 larges Shallots, minced
\N \N Salt and pepper to taste
3¾ cup Chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 medium Onion(s), finely chopped
2 cups Israeli couscous (about 10 oz)
½ cup Freshly grated Parmesan plus
1½ ounce Shaved Parmesan for garnish
¼ cup Flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
4 \N Fresh chives coarsely chopped

1. In a medium bowl, cover the dried morels with hot water. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain well and rinse morels to remove any grit.

2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fava beans or peas and blanch over high heat just until tender, about 3 minutes for fava beans or fresh peas and 1 minute for frozen peas. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fava beans to a colander and drain thoroughly. Peel off and discard the skins and transfer the fava beans to a bowl.

3. Add the asparagus to the boiling water and blanch just until tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the colander, rinse and drain well. Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces and add to the fava beans.

4. Add the leeks to the boiling water and blanch just until t ender, about 3 minutes for baby leeks or ramps and 7 minutes for medium leeks. Transfer to the colander, rinse and drain. Cut the baby leek or ramps into 1-inch pieces; cut the medium leeks into -inch slices and add to the fava beans.

5. Melt 1 tbs of the butter in a large saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the morels and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. SEason with salt and pepper. Add cup of the stock and boil until evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add to the vegetables in the bowl.

The recipe can be prepared to this point up to 6 hours ahead; cover and let stand at room temperature.

6. Heat the olive oil in the large saucepan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the couscous and 2 cups of the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stock is absorbed, about 12 minutes.

Add the remaining 1 cup of stock and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir the couscous vigorously to release the starch and make the risotto creamier. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Add the blanched vegetables and morels to the couscous and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining 3 tbs butter, the grated Parmesan, and the parsley.

8, Spoon the couscous risotto into warmed shallow bowls or soup plates. Garnish with the chives and shaved Parmesan. Serve at once.

Food and Wine April 1995

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 04-18-95

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