Greetings from my new countertop! Since I last posted, I’ve made a major change and moved back to the Southern California coast in sunny Venice Beach. It’s been a whirlwind, but I have finally landed on my feet and am beginning to develop a new life (and new kitchen) here closer to home.
With spring right around the corner, I can’t wait to put the lanterns and string lights to good use and throw tons of starlit dinner parties out front.
I’ve just barely scratched the surface of farmers markets here in Los Angeles, but I am loving the abundance of flowers, herbs, and mushrooms!
Mushroom Ragout with Truffled Israeli Couscous, Parmesan, Lemon, and Herbs
This dish is a staple in my household, and many of my close family and friends can attest to it. It will fill your home with notes of delicious citrus and herbs, and will fill your stomach with earthy goodness.
- 16. oz. sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1 handful of wild mushrooms, sliced – be creative! Chanterelle and Oyster mushrooms are great for this dish.
- juice of 3 lemons
- dash of heavy cream
- 1.5 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup shaved parmesan
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar or table red wine ( I prefer balsamic)
- 2 cups Israeli couscous, cooked and cooled for 20 minutes
- 1/3 cup homemade or store-bought pesto of your choice ( I used Cucina & Amore’s Artichoke Pesto)
- truffle oil or truffle salt to taste (optional)
- 8-10 sprigs of fresh herbs of your choice (mine is with dill, but I’ve also made this with rosemary and sage)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- First, prepare your Israeli couscous per the instructions on the package. Let cool, add in the juice of two lemons and toss.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and minced garlic. Add in your mushrooms and sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to wilt just a bit.
- Reduce the flame to low, and add in your beef broth until it almost covers the mushrooms. Next, add in the balsamic or red wine. Take note of the level of the liquid in your saucepan.
- Allow the mushroom ragout to simmer for about 10 minutes. Once the liquid has halved, add in the juice of one lemon, as well as the heavy cream. Give it a stir.
- Carefully place 5 sprigs of your herbs atop the mushroom ragout. Don’t touch!
- After 3 minutes, slowly stir the herbs into the ragout.
- Allow the ragout to cook down for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the liquid is almost fully absorbed.
- Transfer the mushroom to a bowl and blend in with the Israeli couscous. Add in a few sprigs of your choice herb, as well as the parmesan. Lastly, drizzle or dash your truffle oil/salt for that final touch.
- Serve hot or cold.