WHOLE GRAIN PEARL COUSCOUS WITH A PESTO DRESSING

Make the pesto dressing ahead of time (it keeps for while...click here for other uses) and you have an amazingly tasty meal with very little effort, making this a perfect recipe for busy week nights or meal-prepping.

PESTO PREP TIME:  5 min

COUSCOUS & VEG PREP TIME:  5 min

 

COOK TIME:  12-15 min

 

SERVES:  4

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE PESTO DRESSING

🌿 1 cup (240 ml) olive oil

🌿 3 cloves garlic

🌿 1 cup (20 g) fresh basil leaves

🌿 2 TBSP (20 g) pine nuts 

🌿 2 TBSP (20 g) parmesan cheese

🌿 2 TBSP (30 ml) fresh lemon juice

🌿 ½ tsp salt

FOR THE COUSCOUS & VEGGIES

🥦 2 cups (340 g) whole grain pearl couscous

🥦 2 TBSP (30 ml) olive oil

🥦 1 head broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

🥦 1 lb (500 g) sliced mushrooms

🥦 3 TBSP (30 g) parmesan cheese

🥦 Black olives, walnuts and fresh basil to garnish

MAKE THE DRESSING

Blend all the dressing ingredients together, pour into an air-tight container and set aside to let the flavors infuse (can be made days in advance…it will keep!).

COOK THE REST

 

1)  Cook couscous according to directions on the package (I used 3 cups water and 1 tsp salt to give the couscous a bit of flavor on its own)

2)  Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes to let some of their natural moister evaporate off.

3) Stir in broccoli florets, a pinch of salt and cook another 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy.

4) Drain any residual water from the couscous, add to a large bowl and pour over the Pesto Dressing to taste.

5) Stir in the parmesan and cooked veggies and further salt to taste.

SERVE

 

Spoon into individual serving bowls and garnish with black olives, walnuts, and basil as desired…and maybe a bit more cheese…because it’s pretty!

Recipe & Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

COOKS NOTES

SALT THE COOKING WATER

 

Seriously, add salt to the water so that your couscous isn’t bland, otherwise you’ll use too much dressing and overpower the veggies. 🤓   

COUSCOUS

 

And seriously, read the cooking directions on the package, as I’ve tried a couple of different brands and they all recommend slightly different water amounts and cooking times. 😜

Chickpea and Quinoa Tabbouleh