Lamb calls out for a starch of some kind—potatoes, rice, or couscous. Since I am doing Middle Eastern lamb shanks, I decided I would use ptitim. This Israeli couscous was invented in the 1950’s as a substitute for rice.
Unlike regular couscous—which takes almost no time or thought to cook—this couscous is a bit trickier. The round semolina balls take about 8-10 minutes to cook through. You also need to get the liquid to starch ratio just right—too little fluid and they will have hard centers, too much and they will come out “gummy.”
Karl’s Israeli Couscous With Almonds and Mint
1 ¼ cup low sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth for Vegan)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup Israeli couscous
¼ cup flaked almonds, toasted
¼ cup fresh mint chopped
¼ cup flat-leafed parsley, chopped
1. Bring the broth and oil to a boil in a medium pot.
2. Stir in the couscous and reduce the heat.
3. Cover the pot and simmer until the liquid has all been absorbed.
Tip: Stir the couscous once or twice curing the cooking to make sure that none of it is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in most of the almonds, mint, and parsley.
5. Reserve some of each as garnish.
6. Recover the pot and let the couscous rest, off the heat, for five minutes.
7. Fluff the couscous and transfer it to a serving bowl.
8. Garnish with the remaining almonds, mint, and parsley.
9. Serve warm.