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
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.
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!
Black olives, walnut and fresh basil
Recipe & Photo Credit: Cathy Menees
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. 🤓
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. 😜