(Recipe can be found on the Smitten Kitchen site here.)
Step by Step Instructions:
You really don’t need that much to make this dish. (Please note that I halved the recipe so that I wouldn’t have as many leftovers.) This is what you will need: Salt and Pepper, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chicken Broth, Israeli (Pearl) Couscous, Kalamata Olives (Pitted), Fresh Mint, Fresh Thyme, Fresh Parsley, Garlic, Grape Tomatoes, and Lemons.
Begin by preheating the oven to 250 degrees. Then I used 1 pint of grape tomatoes and halved each one as you see above.
Then I placed each tomato half cut-side up along with two unpeeled garlic cloves on a cookie sheet lined with a Silpat.
Then I placed the cookie sheet in the pre-heated oven for about an hour until the edges of the tomatoes are shriveled a bit. I set the cookie sheet on a wire rack and cool the tomatoes and garlic for about 30 minutes.
Once the tomatoes are cool, place the olive oil, warm water, peeled garlic cloves (that were roasted with the tomates), fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a few of the roasted tomatoes (1/4 cup, since I halved the recipe) in a blender.
Then puree the ingredients until they form a smooth sauce. Set the tomato puree aside.
Say hello to the Israeli Couscous. Again they are essentially tiny balls of pasta and work well in pasta salads and soups…yum! Now it’s time to cook them.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Once the broth is boiling, add the couscous and simmer it for about 6 minutes.
Then remove the couscous from the heat and cover it. Let it stand for about 10 minutes.
After the 10 minutes are up, spoon the cooked Israeli Couscous onto a cookie sheet in a single layer and let it cool for about 15 minutes. Note that the couscous should have absorbed all of the broth during the cooking process.
While the couscous is cooking, I chopped up my remaining ingredients. I did a rough chop of the kalamata olives (I bought pitted olives). I also chopped my fresh parsley, mint, and thyme as seen above.
Once the Israeli couscous has cooled for 15 minutes, transfer it to a bowl. Add to it the fresh herbs, kalamata olives, and roasted tomatoes.
To the bowl, then add the tomato puree.
Stir well and add salt and pepper to taste. And that’s all…how easy is that?!! I served a big spoonful of the couscous with a 4 oz. mahi-mahi filet that I had started cooking on the stove top while I finished the couscous dish…this is a home run. If you like tomatoes and pasta, you will love this dish!!
Makes 6 servings
For roasted tomatoes and dressing:
2 pt red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 lb)
3 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Roast tomatoes and make dressing:
1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Halve tomatoes through stem ends and arrange, cut sides up, in 1 layer in a large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pan. Add garlic to pan and roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 30 minutes.
3. Peel garlic and puree with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth.
1. Bring broth to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan and stir in couscous, then simmer, uncovered, 6 minutes. Cover pan and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. Spread couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and cool 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.
Do ahead: Roasted tomatoes, dressing, and couscous can be made 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.