Couscous with Wild Rocket Pesto

I'm aware that there are a lot of crazy couscous people out there. Personally, I've never been big on it. Sure, I like it. It's fine. Not bad. But I might have been able to live without ever eating it again. Until now. This, my friends, is a keeper. So simple, so quick, and so good. This could sound a little nuts for someone who before today was not a big believer in the stuff...but I'm going to go ahead and say it anyway. I think this couscous stands a very good chance of becoming one of those dishes that we make a couple of times a month around here. I know, I know. Shawn, that might be taking it a little far. Well, possibly. But I like the thought.

We're talking ten minutes undisturbed here, guys. No boiling, stirring, simmering, covering, letting stand, peeking in, etc. It is one of those dishes that will say to you, "Will you please leave me alone? I've got this covered." I love it when food takes that stance. That self-sufficient attitude that allows you to, as Nigel Slater once wrote, "go brush the cat". (I love him.) What takes the longest, is roasting the tomatoes for twenty minutes first. Again, they, too, do all the work themselves. You toss them with olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and pop them in. Then you take them out, add the couscous and stock and back in for ten more minutes. That's it. Top with a rough pesto of any kind (I chose arugula), and you have yourself a beautiful dish to enjoy hot or cold.

                    10 roma tomatoes, halved
                    2 tablespoons thyme leaves
                    2 tablespoons olive oil
                    sea salt and cracked pepper
                    1 1/2 cups couscous
                    1 1/2 cups stock
For the pesto:
                    2 oz wild rocket (arugula), chopped
                    1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
                    1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
                    2 tablespoons lemon juice
                    1/2 cup olive oil
                    sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. To make the pesto, place the arugula, pine nuts, parmesa, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside.

Place the tomatoes, thyme, oil, salt and pepper in a baking dish and toss to combine. Roast for twenty minutes. Add the couscous and pour over the stock. Cover with foil and cook for another ten minutes. Top with the pesto to serve.

Makes four large servings.

Adapted from Donna Hay.       

1 comment:

  1. The flavor of the roasted tomatoes with the pesto, the couscous texture, and pine nuts was outstanding. Plan at least (the very least), 5 tomato halves per serving. Anything less is criminal.