Pearl couscous is a fabulously showy version of the pantry staple. It looks gorgeous and tastes delicious in this Roasted Tomato & Olive Pearl Couscous which is a macro version of tabbouleh that uses slow roasted instead of raw tomatoes. Slow roasting brings out the sweetness of cherry tomatoes in spades, and turns the garlic into a sweet, nutty-tasting paste that flavors the dressing. If you are on an anti-microbial regimen, cooking the tomatoes makes eating this tabbouleh salad possible. You will need to wash herbs very well to add them raw, or quickly sauté the chopped herbs in a little stock or olive oil before adding them to the salad.
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
2. Halve tomatoes through stem ends and arrange cut sides up, in a single layer on a large baking pan with the unpeeled garlic. Roast in the middle of oven until tomatoes are slightly shriveled around edges, about 1 hour. Cool in pan on a rack 30 minutes.
3. Squeeze roasted garlic out of its skin and puree with the olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and ½ cup roasted tomatoes in a blender until dressing is very smooth.
4. Bring the chicken 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 for 10 minutes.
5. Spread couscous in 1 layer on a baking sheet and cool 15 minutes. Transfer couscous to a bowl and stir with the pureed dressing, roasted tomatoes, olives, parsley, mint, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 pints (4 cups) red grape or cherry tomatoes
- 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2¾ cups Chicken Broth
- 2¼ cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup Kalamata or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If you are on an anti microbial diet, remove 1 tablespoon of the oil for the salad dressing ingredients. Heat the oil in a wok or small skillet and sauté the fresh chopped herbs for 2 minutes. Add the hot oil and herbs to the blended dressing, and stir to mix. Make salad as directed.
Roasted tomatoes, dressing, and couscous can be made 1 day ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled. Bring to room temperature before making the salad.