Israeli Couscous Casserole with Vegetable Cheese Sauce

Vegetable Cheese Sauce

  • 2 cups chopped leeks (or 1 chopped onion)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen chopped kale (any fresh or frozen greens)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (from powder) or water
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch wisked into 1/2 cup cold water until smooth
  • pepper
  • 3 ounces grated cheese (old cheddar), aprx. 1/2 cup
  • 1 ounce grated hard cheese (parmesan, or I used peccorino romano), aprx. 1/4 cup
  1. Saute leeks (or onion) and garlic until soft and translucent.
  2. Add milk and broth/water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add kale. Simmer until vegetables are very tender.
  3. Whisk cornstarch into cold water until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to simmering vegetables and milk. Simmer 5 -10 min until thickened.
  4. Use immersion blender or other kitchen tool to puree the sauce until relatively smooth, the kale should be in specks like parsley or some other herb.
  5. Add cheese to sauce, stir til melted.

Casserole

  • 2 cups dry Israeli Couscous, boiled like pasta, aprx. 8 minutes, drained (I toasted mine in a dry fry pan for a bit of a nutty flavour)
  • 4 cups cauliflower, florets and stems, chopped, then roasted (425’F, 20 min.or microwaved til slightly cooked, or just raw, can be from frozen too)
  • 4 cups broccoli, florets and stems, chopped(425’F, 20 min.or microwaved til slightly cooked, or just raw, can be from frozen too)
  • 2 cups mushrooms, caps and stems chopped
  • Bread crumbs, regular or panko, with a bit more cheese if you like

    1. Fold roasted/thawed/steamed vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli), couscous and mushrooms into cheese sauce.
    2. Divide mixture into two oiled baking pans. Sprinkle breadcrumbs lightly on top for crunchy topping if desired.
    3. Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.
    4. Extra pan can be frozen unbaked, then thawed and baked at 425’F for aprx. 25 minutes, or baked from frozen for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

    Obviously you could use any combination of fresh or frozen veg, including leftovers.  Adding some leftover beans, lentils, or meat would be great too, and any cheese equalling the same aprx. amount would be awesome too.   And pasta could be used or even leftover rice, or stale bread in cubes!

    Just for comparisons sake, this shows the difference between regular and Israeli couscous.

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