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.

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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

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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

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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!).

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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.

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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!

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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. 😜

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