Middle Eastern Couscous with Saffron

I hadn't used Israeli couscous before so I was in for a treat. Larger in diameter that the regular couscous that everyone is familiar with, soft and flavorful it's a must for this dish. I served the couscous with Jacques Pépin's Turkey Scaloppine with Dried Morels - a perfect combination.


2 T. olive oil
2/3 c. finely chopped onion
1/4 c. pumpkin seeds (+ 1 T. for garnish)
1 tsp. saffron (crush between your fingers before adding)
1 c. Israeli couscous
1-1/2 c. vegetable stock
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs fresh tarragon or parsley (for garnish)

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat and add the onion, pumpkin seeds, and saffron. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the couscous and mix well. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, stir, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and cook for about 10-12 minutes. Uncover, turn the heat up to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 or 4 minutes longer (so the grains are dry and fluffy). Serve garnished with the herb sprigs and a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds.

– Jacques Pépin, "More Fast Food My Way"