Israeli Cous Cous with Greens, Roasted Tomatoes and Parsley Pesto

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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

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup of Israeli cous cous
  2. 250 g grape tomatoes
  3. 125 grams broccoli or broccolini (about 8 – 12 broccolini heads)
  4. Olive oil (for tomatoes)
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. 1/2 cup parsley pesto (recipe follows below – or use store bought)

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Method

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.

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Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

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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.

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Parsley Pesto

Ingredients

  1. 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. 2 cups of Italian parsley leaves, loosely packed
  3. Juice of 2 large lemons
  4. 1/3 cup olive oil

Method

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.

pestocolllageAdd the nuts, parsley and lemon juice to a food processor and process to combine.

Fotor062720057Slowly add the oil and continue to process until the pesto reaches your desired consistency.

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You could also use the pesto to stir through pasta, spread on toast or served with a cheese plate as I did here:

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Variations:

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.

 

 

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