Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pearl Couscous with Olives, Roasted Tomatoes, and Feta

I feel like this recipe fits more with what I was cooking a few months ago, but I only got around to it now because I finally managed to pick up some pearl couscous (along with some tamarind and porcini mushrooms ... finds that I'm entirely too excited about). For some reason in my memory, this recipe called for feta cheese, so when I saw some delicious looking Bulgarian feta, I jumped on it. The recipe doesn't call for feta, but it tastes amazing with feta, so I think you should just go for it. I skipped on the mint and thyme, but otherwise stuck with the recipe. Making it again, I might leave the salt out of the tomato sauce as it tasted a little salty to me (probably thanks to the feta). I cut the recipe in half, but the original is included below.

For an updated and simplified version that uses sun-dried tomatoes, try this one.

Pearl Couscous with Olives, Roasted Tomatoes, and Feta (from Gourmet via Smitten Kitchen)

For roasted tomatoes and dressing
2 pt red grape or cherry tomatoes (680g)
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 (you might omit if using feta)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
For couscous
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli/Maghrabiyeh) 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
crumbled feta

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 (for easy clean-up, put some parchment down). Add garlic to pan and roast in middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 1 - 2 hours. 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.
4. 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.
5. Spread couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and cool 15 minutes (if you don't want to dirty another dish and have time, transfer the tomatoes to a bowl and use the same dish).
6. Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir in remaining ingredients, dressing, roasted tomatoes, and feta.

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