This quick and easy couscous mixture is a definite crowd-pleaser. The flavors of toasted pine nuts, fresh tomatoes, pesto, and Parmesan cheese all combine to make a delicious dish that tastes great warm, room temperature, and cold, so you can refrigerate any that is left over, and easily have it the next day.
Sometimes a cook needs a really easy, really quick, yet really delicious recipe to fall back on during busy times. I won’t list to you my family’s schedule these days (it would take too long, and would most likely be boring to anyone but me!) but let’s just say that on many evenings, there isn’t a lot of time to make a complicated meal. This couscous dish has been in a regular rotation with us lately, because it takes under ten minutes to prepare, yet it tastes like it took much longer, and it incorporates great flavor with good nutrients.
The Near East company makes all kinds of flavors of couscous mixtures, and I have tried many of them. For this dish, I like to use the toasted pine nut couscous mix, and then add my own tomatoes, pesto, and cheese. (I am not getting paid to promote this company’s couscous mix, though maybe I should look into that….)
Though couscous is not gluten-free (it is made from semolina, so it is actually considered a form of pasta), it does have some health benefits, such as vitamins B and E, and a relatively high amount of the mineral selenium. I am kind of in the middle of the road when it comes to gluten, where I am trying not to eat too much of it, yet I find that eating some foods with it works fine for my body. The thing I really like about couscous is the quick-cooking factor, and also the versatility. It’s a way to get in some vegetables and herbs, like tomatoes and basil, and feel full and nourished at the same time.
Anyway, I love the tangy taste of the pesto with the fresh, ripe tomatoes, which are so good this time of year! If you want to add shredded, cooked chicken to this couscous recipe, feel free. I know we are having it as part of our dinner tonight, and my husband will probably take a container of it with his lunch tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy the last few days of summer! It is really starting to look and feel just a bit like fall, which is not a bad thing, but for me, it is a bit nostalgic. The daylight is fading earlier in the evenings and there is a bit of a chill in the breeze now, yet the sun is still warm and soft in the afternoons. Have a great weekend!I am sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Loretta @ Safari of the Mind and Natalie @ Kitchen, Uncorked.
Tomato-Pesto Couscous Bowls
- One package of Near East Couscous Mix (I think the toasted pine nut mix works best for this recipe)
- 1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of prepared pesto (store-bought or homemade)
- 1/2 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
- fresh basil sprigs for garnish, if desired
Prepare the couscous according to the directions on the package. While the couscous is cooking, chop the tomatoes, and measure out the pesto and shredded cheese. When the couscous is cooked, combine all the ingredients. Serve in bowls. May be served warm, at room temperature, or cold out of the refrigerator, if using as a leftover. Enjoy!