J is planning a spring wine dinner in a couple of weekends and we had been discussing an israeli couscous salad to serve with the main course. As a result, I had israeli couscous on the brain and luckily it is sold in the bulk section of the co-op (aside: can you tell I love my co-op? Love it.) Sticking to a nice seasonal theme, a strong desire to buy some ramps and some leftover mushrooms from the mushroom pate I made for bookclub we came up with this side dish.
The dish was delicious. I could eat it every day. Unfortunately, I can only get ramps and decent asparagus for a short part of the year, so I'll eat my fill now and look forward to next spring.
ISRAELI COUSCOUS WITH RAMPS, ASPARAGUS AND MUSHROOMS
1 cup israeli couscous
1 bunch asparagus, cut on the diagonal into 1 - 1 1/2 inch slices
4-5 large white mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 bunch ramps (about 4-5) bulbs separated from the stems
salt and pepper to taste
In a sauce pan combine israeli couscous and 1 1/2cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until the liqiud is absorbed, slightly more than 10 minutes.
Slice the ramp bulbs and stems like you would a green onion. Coarsely chop the greens and set aside.
In a sautee pan heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Add the sliced ramp bulbs and stems and sautee for a couple of minutes, add a little salt and pepper. Add the asparagus and mushrooms and continue to sautee, again adding a little salt and pepper. Once softened, add the ramps greens and cook until they start to wilt. Squeeze about a half of a lemon into the pan and add a splash of champange vinegar and continue cooking until the sharpness and acidity of the lemon and vinegar has mainly cooked off.
Mix the sauteed vegetables with the couscous and serve.