If you are into a cream and vegetable soup it is always a good idea to add some crispy croutons as they make the dish really appetizing and much tastier. However, a great alternative to the traditional croutons is crispy sautéed couscous. It is not only healthier but also surprisingly tasty.
In this recipe, we propose a cream of broccoli with crisp couscous flavored with anchovies. Very easy to prepare and ideal to serve as a first course, or a delicious aperitif. With just a few ingredients you can bring the traditional broccoli cream to a whole new level.
Here is how to prepare the creamed broccoli with crunchy couscous and anchovy.
- Preparation: 15 minutes
- Cooking: 10-15 minutes for cooking the broccoli
- Portions: 4 people
Recipe by Simona Novarini
- 50 ml of water
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of corn seed oil
- 50 grams of Martino’s Integral Couscous
- 5 anchovies in oil
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 500 grams of broccoli
- 100 grams of Ricotta cheese
- 30 grams of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 pinch of salt
Prepare the broccoli:
Trim away any green leaves and chop off the thick bottom part of the stem. Rinse it well under cool water. Next, use a sharp knife to cut the florets from the stem.
Boil the broccoli florets:
Bring a large, deep pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and toss in the florets. Florets cook sufficiently in 5 to 7 minutes, depending on their size. To make sure they are cooked pierce the center with a knife to see if it’s soft throughout.
Don’t let the broccoli florets over boil. When cooked more than needed they unlock the smelly sulfurous compounds within and release an off-putting odor. Remove the broccoli as soon as the stems are getting soft.
Hydrate the Couscous:
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, pour 50 ml of water, add a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Bring to a simmer.
Turn off the heat and pour evenly 50 grams of Martino’s Integral Couscous. Cover with a lid and let the couscous absorb all the water slowly for about 4-5 minutes. After the necessary time, fluff the couscous with the help of a fork.
Season the couscous with Anchovies
In a non-stick pan over medium to high heat add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and toss 5 anchovies inside. Now let the anchovies slowly dissolve so as to create a paste and then add the couscous and let it sauté until it becomes golden and slightly crispy.
Preparing the broccoli cream:
Pour the boiled broccoli florets in a kitchen mixer; add 100 grams of Ricotta cheese, 30 grams of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and a pinch of salt. Blend well to obtain a smooth cream. If the cream is too thick, soften it by adding a little milk.
Notes and variations:
It is possible to use any of your favorite vegetables for your cream. Spinach, cauliflower, carrots, peas or even pumpkin can be used for this recipe.
If you do not have anchovies you can also use fish sauce to add that subtle background flavor to the couscous.
Pour your broccoli cream into the serving dishes and sprinkle the surface with the anchovy-sautéed couscous. Serve warm as a first dish or serve it in glasses for and extra elegant effect. Enjoy your crispy meal!
We love to experiment and add new ingredients to old recipes. The sautéed couscous is a great alternative to the traditional crouton. While the anchovies will elevate the broccoli cream and add some a savory touch to the whole dish. If you enjoyed this recipe, subscribe to our newsletter to receive more inspiration for your cooking directly in your inbox.
We are certain you will enjoy this smooth and crispy recipe; a great combination of seafood, vegetables, and healthy fibers. As always we invite to share with us your kitchen adventures in the comments. If you added a new ingredient to the recipe, or just followed it exactly as it is, we would love to read about your experience!