I absolutely love this recipe. After experimenting with a few, I think I have finally created the perfect couscous recipe! It doesn’t feel like a heavy pasta dish and its great for summer time. The best part of it is – it is really hard to screw up
Approx. cooking time is 30 minutes, level of difficulty – easy
6 Cups of Baby Spinach
3-4 Basil Leaves
2 Cups Israeli Couscous
¾ cup GOOD QUALITY olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts
3-4 small cloves of garlic
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1½ pints yellow or red cherry tomatoes
4 yellow, orange, or red Heirloom Tomatoes (chopped no smaller than 1 in. pieces)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste
- Bring a pot of heavily salted water (should taste like seawater) to a boil and add couscous. Cook until al dente – about 10 minutes. (It should still have a bit of a bite to it). Drain the couscous and transfer it to a baking sheet, toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil to keep it from clumping and refrigerate for about half an hour, until it has come to about room temperature.
- In another small saucepan bring salted water to a boil and blanch the spinach about ten-fifteen seconds. Drain and press the spinach, getting as much water out of it as you can.
- In a small saute pan, toast your pine nuts until they are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer the spinach, pine nuts, garlic, cheese, and olive oil, just ½ cup to start, you can always add more – into a food processor and pulse until combined. Then add the fresh basil leaves and pulse again. Add more olive oil as needed. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Finally toss the pesto in with the couscous and throw in the tomatoes. Season with red pepper flakes and additional salt and pepper if desired. This salad can be served at room temperature or cold! Enjoy!!!