Wild Mushroom Couscous Recipe

This flavorful, buttery couscous is a great way to break out of a rice or mashed potato rut. With three kinds of umami-packed fungi and a smattering of fresh herbs, this mushroom couscous recipe makes an ideal side dish for a holiday or special occasion spread where a ho-hum accompaniment just won't cut it.

Wild Mushroom Couscous Recipe
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  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
  • 6 king mushrooms
  • 6 slippery jack mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
  • 7 ounces good quality chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons verjuice
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turkish chili flakes
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • thin slices of yellow baby beetroot garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 ounces couscous
  • 12 ounces water
  • 2 small tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons finely snipped chives
  • butter
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots, garlic and thyme leaves and sauté gently for 2 minutes, or until translucent. 
  2. Add the king and slippery jack mushrooms and sauté until lightly colored. 
  3. Add the sherry and bubble vigorously for a few minutes, stirring gently.
  4. Strain the porcini mushrooms, reserving 2 tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Add both mushrooms and liquid to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes then add the stock.
  5. Increase the heat and cook until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the verjuice and lemon and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes. Add the butter, a little at a time, whisking continuously until it is all incorporated and the sauce is thick and shiny. 
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous following the method on the box, add an ounce of butter (2 tablespoons), stir in with a fork, allow to cool to room temperature and transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Stir in the diced tomatoes and chives. Dot with the rest of the butter, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on medium for 3 minutes.
  7. Stir briefly, then tip into a buttered pudding basin and press in firmly. To serve, unmold the couscous onto a platter and spoon the wild mushroom braise around. Garnish with baby yellow beetroot slices, if you like.
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