Israeli Couscous with Bacon and Peas
Simple ingredients create this sophisticated side dish. The bacon performs double-duty creating a silky coating for toasting the Israeli couscous as well as garnish. The couscous and peas produce a very pleasing texture while the bacon and lemon contribute tang and a silky mouth-feel.
Cook the bacon (cut cross-wise into ½ inch pieces) over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until crispy.
Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate with paper toweling, reserving the bacon drippings in the pan.
Add the finely diced shallots to the reserved bacon drippings and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the Israeli couscous, stir to coat and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until the couscous is toasted. Increase heat to medium high.
Add the water, thyme, ½ the juice of a lemon, salt if desired, bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the couscous is just about cooked through (about 5 minutes). You may need to add more water ⅛ cup at a time until you reach your preferred level of done-ness.
Stir in the peas and ½ of the crispy bacon, cook for about 2 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.
For serving, garnish with the remaining bacon, shavings or grated Parmesan cheese and lemon wedges.
Serves 4 as a small side or 2 as a more hearty serving.