So this is my second cous cous recipe from my time cooking with mum at home a couple of weeks back – this recipe uses the large grain Israeli cous cous (also called pearl cous cous). I was inspired to make the pesto to use as a dressing for the cous cous as mum’s garden was brimming with Italian parsley – but you could also mix it up and use more traditional basil or even coriander (cilantro) or mint as the herb base for the pesto.
Israeli Cous Cous
- 1 cup of Israeli cous cous
- 250 g grape tomatoes
- 125 grams broccoli or broccolini (about 8 – 12 broccolini heads)
- Olive oil (for tomatoes)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup parsley pesto (recipe follows below – or use store bought)
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Cut the tomatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook the broccoli or broccolini for about 5 minutes – until just done.
Cook the Israeli cous cous according to packet directions (I cooked mine for about 6 minutes in boiling water. The packet may specify cooking with stock, but I only cook cous cous in stock if I am not going to add a flavoursome dressing so I would suggest just cooking in water with a pinch of salt. Drain the cous cous after cooking and allow to cool slightly.
Stir half a cup of pesto through the cous cous, gently fold in the broccoli and tomatoes. You can serve this dish while still slightly warm or cold.
- 1 cup of nuts. I used 3/4 cup of pine nuts and a quarter of a cup of cashews. You can experiment with different nuts you may have on hand such as almonds or walnuts.
- 2 cups of Italian parsley leaves, loosely packed
- Juice of 2 large lemons
- 1/3 cup olive oil
Lightly toast or roast the nuts. I put my nuts in a 180 degree celsius (about 350 F) oven for 10 minutes. You could also toast in a fry pan on the stove top.
Add the nuts, parsley and lemon juice to a food processor and process to combine.
Slowly add the oil and continue to process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.
You could also use the pesto to stir through pasta, spread on toast or served with a cheese plate as I did here:
In Spring, you could substitute seasonal, fresh asparagus for the broccoli and use a mint based pesto.
For a quicker cous cous, you could substitute store-bought roasted red peppers for the tomatoes and stir through rocket (arugala) or baby spinach as the green addition to the salad in place of the broccoli.