Looking for a luxe vegetarian dinner? This pearl couscous in saffron broth is the place to start for a creamy, golden-hued dinner. If you need an easy, delicious vegetarian saffron recipe to add to your Rolodex, read on!
This recipe is just fabulous and it combines everything I love. You need only a few ingredients and about 35–40 minutes and you’ll end up with a dish that looks like it came out of a 5-star restaurant.
The core of this recipe is the gorgeously golden broth. I use saffron, but you can achieve a golden hue with turmeric too. If using turmeric, bloom it in the hot oil for 40 seconds with the onions before adding the water!
How to make this pearl couscous in saffron broth recipe:
This recipe is so simple to whip up.
First, prepare the broth. Sauté onion and then add mushrooms. Beech mushrooms are currently my funghi muse at the moment, but any variety will work here! Darker mushrooms–like baby bella–will add a brown hue to the broth, so if you want to maintain a really rich golden broth, try to use lighter-fleshed mushrooms.
Next, add butter and pearl couscous cook until the couscous is golden brown.
Add a can of white beans for a heartier dish and then add all but one cup of water. In the reserved warm water, add the saffron threads and allow them to bloom.
From there, simply simmer the broth until the couscous is tender. Stir in the saffron water along with cream and simmer until the broth is completely golden.
Looking for more vegetarian recipes? Check my archives!
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Pearl Couscous in Saffron Broth
- Wide pot
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and minced
- 4 ounces beech mushrooms trimmed and separated
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper flakes or use 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 15- ounce can navy beans
- 5 cups water or stock divided
- A pinch of saffron threads
- ¼ cup heavy cream or coconut milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh watercress leaves or minced parsley
- Aleppo pepper flakes
- Crusty bread
Cook the aromatics:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5–7 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for 7-8 minutes more until they begin to brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Toast the couscous:
- Melt the butter into the pot. Once frothy, add the Aleppo pepper and the pearl couscous. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the couscous begins to toast.
Simmer the broth:
- Add the beans to the pot along with 4 cup of water of broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until the couscous is al dente. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Bloom the saffron:
- Heat the remaining 1 cup of water in the microwave for 45 seconds until warm. Add the saffron threads and set aside as the broth simmers.
Finish the broth:
- Add the saffron water and cream to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Taste and season again. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle the couscous into shallow bowls. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil and fresh watercress leaves. Sprinkle with more Aleppo pepper flakes. Enjoy with crusty bread.