Israeli Pearled Couscous with Seared Scallops and Leeks
1 cup Israeli pearled couscous
1½ - 2 cups low sodium chicken stock or water
3 tablespoons butter (divided)
4 ounces mushrooms (I used maitake but you can use button, shiitake, or oyster)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
8-10 dry sea scallops
We have prepared this with farro, barley, and Israeli couscous. We've also used a variety of mushrooms. This is an excellent base recipe. Experiment!
Thoroughly wash the leeks, removing the tough outer layer and trim the bottoms and cut off the
dark green leafy parts. Reserve the tops for another use. Thinly slice crosswise. Trim the mushrooms
and cut into bite sized pieces. Halve the lemon and cut one half into slices and juice the other half.
Wash the sea scallops and remove the side muscle, pat dry and season with pepper (and salt, if
Melting leeks takes about thirty minutes, so while your leeks are cooking, you can work on
preparing the other parts of the meal. In a non-stick or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, heat two
tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil. Once smoking, add the leeks and season with
salt. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for thirty
minutes. If, during the cooking process, you notice the pan starting to dry up, add a touch of olive
oil. You know the leeks are ready when you try a bit and they melt in your mouth.
While the leeks are cooking, prepare the couscous. First, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a highsided
pan over medium high heat. Once shimmering, add the couscous, adjusting the heat as
necessary to keep the couscous from burning. Cook, stirring frequently, until the couscous is toasted
and golden brown. This takes about 4-5 minutes. Add the 11/2 cups of liquid (water or chicken stock)
and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed
and the couscous is tender. If you notice the couscous is drying out, add more liquid during the
cooking process. Season with salt and pepper to taste.