For this dish I used wheat pearled couscous, but you could use regular pearled couscous or barley instead.  If you don’t have purple potatoes, white or red ones would work fine – but they won’t be as pretty!  I used a mix of oyster, portabella, and shiitake mushrooms.  I used  purple scallions and garlic with the stalk still attached, but green onions and conventional garlic can stand in for those if you don’t have either of the first two.  If you are using garlic with the stalk attached, remove the outer layers of the garlic to get down to the cloves, the remove the extra layer around each clove.

Whole Wheat Pearled Couscous with Mushrooms, Purple Potatoes, and Fava Beans

serves 2-4 (as entrée or side)

2/3 cup uncooked pearled couscous
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth (or as per package directions)
1/2 lb purple potatoes, sliced and cut into smaller pieces
1 pint of fava beans
2-3 cups sliced mushrooms
2-3 purple scallions, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp butter
3 tsp olive oil, divided
paprika, salt, and pepper to taste

Parboil potatoes by either placing them in boiling water on the stove, or in a glass bowl of water in the microwave and cooking on high. Since this was a small amount of potatoes, and I cut them fairly small, they only took about 4 minutes. Take them out as soon as they are mostly tender, and then set them aside.

Rinse the fava bean pods, and then remove the individual beans from the pods.  Drop the beans in boiling water for about 2 minutes, and then remove them with a slotted spoon, and put them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking.  Once they have cooled, peel off the outer covering of the fava beans (you can usually just rip the end and then squeeze the beans out), then set aside.  They should be a vivid green color at this point.

Cook the couscous according to package directions, but using the broth in place of water (for the kind I had it took 8-10 minutes).  In the meantime, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a skillet on medium heat, and then saute the scallions and garlic until tender, and just starting to turn golden. Remove the scallions and garlic from the pan and set aside.  Heat the butter in the same pan on high heat.  When the butter is bubbly and just starts to brown, add the mushrooms, and cook until tender, turning several times to ensure both sides cook.  Stop before they become juicy.

Add the barley, scallions, garlic, potatoes, fava beans, and 2 tsp olive oil to the skillet with the mushrooms.  Cook, stirring, until heated through. Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste.

Pearled Couscous with Mushrooms, Potatoes, and Fava Beans

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