Israeli Couscous “Risotto” Primavera


March has officially become one of the busiest months for me! I have something happening every single weekend this month. Let me prove it (because I know you’re all dying to know ;)…):

  • March 2 – We celebrated our friends birthday last weekend, and had a night on the town. It was so great to catch up with everyone!
  • March 9 – Attending a day conference for work (hooray developing skills!) and then in the evening I get to see Diana from Veggie Next Door!! She and her fiance (squee!) are visiting their friends in Ann Arbor and I’m so excited to see her again, and hopefully make some new friends!
  • March 16 – I’ll be in the Chi for St. Patty’s weekend to visit the seester and my friends out there. Taking a nice long weekend from work to just kick back and have fun.
  • March 23 – SHOOTING MY FIRST WEDDING! Can I even begin to tell you how excited I am to be doing this? One of my best friends and I have been asked to photograph the wedding of someone she knows, and she and I are over the moon about it. I’ve also already planned to assist another one of my amazing photographer friends with weddings she’s doing this spring and summer. Yay! It will be amazing experience and hopefully slowly get my feet into the whole biz ;)
  • March 30 – GARBAGE! I have wanted to see Garbage live since I was in high school! Yes, I’m almost 30 and yes my friends and I will likely be the oldest people there. But then again, maybe we won’t. I’m sure there are still 30+-year-olds living in their 14-year-old bodies who are as excited as I am ;)


Another happy news announcement: I’m registered for my first 5K! I’m doing the Color Run in Ypsilanti May 11 so I’ve been hitting the gym to run until I reach the 3.1 mile mark. I can’t wait for it to get warm outside so I can do some running outdoors. I think anyone can agree that running outdoors > running on a treadmill indoors.

So yeah, March is going to go by fast I’m sure, and there’s so much more exciting stuff happening almost every weekend after, but I’m ready for all the fun! Plus I’ll get to cross off a handful of things on that lovely list I have going ;)

So to celebrate and live in the fun and also help prep my meals for the week, I decided to make risotto. Since it’s one of my favorite foods, it had to be done. The biggest difference this time was I used Israeli couscous instead of Arborio rice. I just used more couscous, and less stock and added a whole lotta veggies. In the end it tasted like the real deal but wasn’t as heavy. The great thing about risotto is you can add whatever you want to it and it probably won’t taste bad. For this one, I used carrot, zucchini, baby Bellas and asparagus spears. I could see all kinds of veggies going into this though: leeks, artichokes, roasted eggplant, peas, peppers.. have fun with it!


Hashtag dopeshow anyone?

Yeah, I said it.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Israeli Couscous “Risotto” Primavera
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tastes just like classic risotto primavera, but lighter and creamier!
Recipe type: Risotto-ish, vegetarian
Cuisine: Italian-ish, vegetarian
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 oz. frozen cut asparagus, thawed
  • 1¼ cup Israeli (pearled) couscous
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to a large pan over medium high heat until melted.
  2. Add the chopped zucchini, carrot and sliced mushrooms and cook until tender and softened, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add 3 cups vegetable stock to a saucepan and keep warm over low to medium heat.
  4. When the vegetables are done, remove from pan, set on plate and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, add the remaining oil and butter.
  6. Add the couscous and cook 2 minutes or until lightly toasted
  7. Add the white wine and cook 1-2 minutes or until alcohol is cooked out.
  8. Next add stock about ½ cup (or ladle) at a time, stir until absorbed. When the couscous has absorbed some of the stock, add another ½ cup.
  9. After 2 cups of stock have been added, pour the cooked vegetables back to the pan with the couscous. Continue ladling ½ cup until all the stock is gone.
  10. Add the thawed cut asparagus, cheese, salt and pepper and stir until all combined and the couscous is cooked.

16 thoughts on “Israeli Couscous “Risotto” Primavera

  1. Komal

    Hi Aparna,

    Ive been reading your blog for a while now, and i love it. Just wanted to let you know i made this dish today for dinner, and it turned out absolutely delicious. Both the hubby and I absolutely loved it.


  2. Diana @ VeggieNextDoor

    Wow – your March sounds amazing! I’m so honored to be on the list of fun occasions and am so exicted to be coming to Ann Arbor – last time I was there I hadn’t met you yet so it’s surely going to be an even more amazing trip this time :-)

    I’m also so wowed by this recipe. I LOVE Israeli Cous Cous and this reminds me that I haven’t had it in ages… nor would I have ever thought to make a Risotto out of it. This combo sounds amazing.

    1. Aparna B. Post author

      OF COURSE you’re in there, girl!! I am so excited to see you, hang out, meet your FIANCE (ahh!) and meet your friends :) We’re going to have so much fun!

  3. Lawyer Loves Lunch

    Yay! I got some Israeli cous cous but have had no idea how to use it. It’s been sitting all lonely in my pantry until this weekend when it’ll get some love when I make your primavera. Oh, and congrats for your photo’ing gig. I can’t wait to see the pictures :)

    1. Aparna B. Post author

      Thanks lady! Please do make it! And let me know how it turns out. You could probably throw some other yummy veggies in there too. I’m having major spring fever. I can’t wait to hit up the farmers market when the warm weather arrives :) Thanks for the encouragement! I’m so excited! I will definitely be sharing the pics!

    1. Aparna B. Post author

      I know, right? It’s going to be a quick month and most of the weekends in April, May and June are filling up with trips and photo sessions so I’m pretty stoked! Thanks for the encouragement :) I love taking photos of people! Garbage is so awesome. I can’t wait!

  4. Parita @ myinnershakti

    Your March sounds like a lot of fun! And YAY for booking weddings! GO YOU! That’s awesome. :)

    And I really need to diversify when it comes to the grains I cook with. Couscous and risotto are on the top of my list…thanks to you!

    1. Aparna B. Post author

      Thanks Par! I am so excited beyond words. I have been wanting to gain more exposure for my photography business for months and this is just what I needed to help with that! I hope I do a good job ;) I’ll definitely have to recap when it’s all said and done and I can look through the pics haha.

      Aww and thanks for that comment! <3 I’m all about trying new things and I figured arborio rice and pearled couscous are KIND of similar, so let’s try it! Totally worked and I’m glad it did!


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