August 12, 2013

Pearl Couscous with Mint, Basil, and Gigantes

This recipe is for everyone with an abundance of summer herbs. Please, please don't let your beautiful basil or mint overheat in the sun or go to seed -- chop those beauties and toss them into this light, fragrant pasta.

The whole dish is ready in minutes, with the couscous taking less than ten as it simmers away in broth. Chop the herbs while the pasta plumps, then stir in veggies and beans, salt to taste, and sprinkle with some feta cheese if it's on hand.

Since I used frozen corn and peas, this dish is largely a pantry and herb garden creation. Perfect for busy weeknights when flavor can't be sacrificed for time and relaxation.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 T. olive oil
1/2 large Spanish onion, largely diced
2 cups chicken broth (vegetable broth for vegetarian)
3/4 cup pearl couscous
red wine dressing (recipe follows)
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
1 can gigante beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup basil, chopped
1/3 cup mint, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

red wine vinegar dressing: 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 2 T. fresh lemon juice, 1 T. honey, 1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 cup olive oil whisked together)

Bring a large saucepan to heat over medium low, then add the olive oil to coat. Add the chopped onions and cover, stirring a couple of times, until turning just golden. Pour in the chicken broth and couscous and cover, turning up the heat to bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally. When the couscous is tender but still firm to the bite add the red wine dressing and stir. Add in the frozen corn, peas, and beans and heat through. Stir in the basil and mint and salt and pepper to taste. Add feta cheese on top if desired and serve warm or room temperature.


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