Toasted Israeli Couscous with Spring Vegetables

a bowl of couscous with peas
Prep Time: 
30 minutes
Number of Servings: 
Serves 6


  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tsp finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 1 13 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 34 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, plus additional as needed
  • 6 to 8 saffron threads
  • 1 lb slender asparagus spears, trimmed of woody ends, cut diagonally into 34-inch pieces
  • 8 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed, cut diagonally into 12-inch pieces
  • 1 cup shelled fresh green peas or frozen, thawed
  • 13 cup chopped fresh chives
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the oil, the lemon juice, the lemon peel, and 12 of the minced garlic in a small bowl. Set dressing aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous, sprinkle with salt, and saute until most of couscous is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add broth and saffron threads, increase heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add additional broth by tablespoonfuls if mixture becomes too dry.
  4. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy large skillet over high heat. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, green peas, and remaining garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Saute until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.
  5. Add couscous to bowl with vegetables. Drizzle dressing over. Add chives and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Nutrition Info: 
293 Calories, 9 g Protein, 42 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 10 g Total fat (1 g sat, 7 g mono, 1 g poly), 92 mg Sodium, ★★ Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), Iron, Manganese


Christine Wansleben

Christine is the Owner/Culinary Director of Mise En Place, located in Richmond, VA. She graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump's NY Cooking School) in New York City, and has worked in such restaurants as Chanterelle and Eleven Madison Park.