I always feel so proud of myself when I can deliver an actual real true Meatless Monday. More often than not I cheat, and add the meat, but this week I’m staying on course. No meat in this pearl couscous recipe, thank you very much. Do I get a medal? I sort of feel like I should.
What this recipe does offer is all the flavor. Summer tomatoes are everything, and I love a good roasted one. Mix them up with briny olives and plenty of freshly chopped herbs. Think parsley, mint, and basil. Oh yes, this one has a lot going on. The dressing is kept simple with lemon and olive oil and everything comes together in a lovely dish that works perfectly as a meal on it’s own or served as a side next to some grilled chicken or sausage at your next gathering.
Meal prep friends, this is also a great one to prep on Sunday for the week ahead, or on Friday for busy sport weekends. You can store the dressing on the side if you’d like, although the pearl cous cous really soaks it up nicely. No soggy salad here.
PEARL COUSCOUS WITH ROASTED TOMATOES AND OLIVES
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 pints (1 1/2 pounds) grape or cherry tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
Few springs of fresh thyme, chopped up
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for tomatoes
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/4 cups pearl couscous
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped up
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
To begin, roast tomatoes. Heat oven to 375. Halve tomatoes arrange, cut sides up, in 1 layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add garlic and thyme to pan and drizzle both tomatoes and garlic lightly with oil. Sprinkle with salt. Roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 45 minutes or so. Let cool.
Meanwhile, make couscous according to package directions.
When tomatoes are done, make dressing: Peel garlic and puree with 1/4 cup oil, water, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 pepper, and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Mix together cooked couscous, dressing, herbs, tomatoes, and olives. Enjoy!