Nicole Spiridakis, writer and photographer of the
blog Cucina Nicolina, chronicles recipes she
loves, her travels and her day-to-day life—largely through the lens of
food. While she is a vegetarian, her
recipes never seem lacking in anything; instead, they’re always brimming with
an abundance of seasonal fruits, produce and whole grains. This recipe, in
particular, is perfect for the summer—serve it as a side dish during
picnics or barbecues, or as a light lunch for those busy weekdays when
sandwiches just won’t do. Depending on where you live, you’re probably starting
to see tomatoes crop up at your farmers market, and Nicole suggests making this recipe
when cherry tomatoes are in season. For vegans, simply omit the feta and add
chickpeas for protein. This couscous reminds Nicole of her travels to Greece, while it reminds us of the beginning of summer. We couldn’t be more ready.
Tomatoes and Dressing
2 pints red grape or cherry tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds)
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 ground black pepper
2 3/4 cups
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 cup crumbled feta
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1. To roast tomatoes and make dressing, start by preheating the oven to 250 degrees.
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.
3. Cool in
pan on a rack for 30 minutes.
garlic and purée with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup
roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth.
5. To make couscous, 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
couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and let cool for 15 minutes.
couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted
tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.