When the weather starts to really heat up, I find myself less and less inclined to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking. I look for recipes that utilize fresh or raw ingredients and come together quickly. This herbed couscous is a great side dish for such occasions. It pairs nicely alongside grilled fish or chicken and you can easily switch out the peas for other vegetables in season (think asparagus, zucchini, or mushrooms). The dish is ready in under 15 minutes, which leaves more time to spend enjoying the summer weather – or just escaping the heat of the kitchen!
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup dry couscous (usually found near rice and grains, or the international aisle of the grocery store)
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (defrosted)
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
- Bring the water and 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a boil. Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the hot skillet. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic, shallot and peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peas just begin to soften, about 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the pea mixture and the herbs to the couscous and stir to combine. Serve warm.