In Israel, pearled couscous is typically served very simply – often with little more than a bit of tomato sauce or some fried onions. This variation honors that simplicity but amps up the flavor with sautéed shallots standing in for the onions, fresh thyme, bright lemon juice, and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.
- Place the almonds in a small pan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
- Combine the broth and thyme in a medium pot set over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, turn heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and discard the thyme sprigs.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the shallots, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the cooked shallots, toasted almonds, and lemon juice to the couscous, drizzle with a little more olive oil, and toss to combine. Taste and season again with salt and pepper. Serve warm, topped with parsley.
Reprinted, with permission, from Modern Jewish Cooking: Recipes and Customs for Today’s Kitchen (Chronicle, 2015) by Leah Koenig
Leah Koenig is a writer and cookbook author who's work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Epicurious, Food52, and Tablet, among other publications. Her cookbook, Modern Jewish Cooking (Chronicle Books) was published in 2015 and featured in the Food52 Piglet book tournament. Her most recent book, Little Book of Jewish Appetizers (Chronicle) was published in August 2017. Leah lives in Brooklyn with her husband and 3-year old.