April 20, 2015

Italian Couscous and Weekend Scenes

Recipe challenge, week sixteen.

What a close call.

I almost didn't have a recipe for today.  I made this yesterday and packaged it up to take for lunch this week.

I first discovered Israeli (Pearl) Couscous at Trader Joe's in Los Angeles a few years ago.  I stuffed my TJ's dry goods into my suitcase and made it once I was back in Alaska.  I did this with it back then.  Adding the pesto makes it extra rich.

I really just love the texture of the pearl couscous.  Sometimes I buy it in the bulk bins (I used to get it at Fred Meyer, now I'll get it at Whole Foods), and this time I just bought a box at Trader Joe's.  It's less than $2 and is the great base for a vegetarian dinner.  Onion, zucchini, or peppers could all be sauteed and added in. A meatless Monday, perhaps?  Also, this is the perfect use for that pesto you made last week.  I mean, I made last week.  I hope you made it too.

Italian Couscous
serves 4-6 as a side dish

1 box pearl couscous (or 2 cups, dry)
1 3/4 cups water or chicken stock
12-15 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
Olive oil
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/2 cup shredded parmesan or mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with oil.  Add the sliced garlic and tomatoes.  Cook until the garlic just starts to brown.  Remove to a plate. Add in the dry couscous.  Coat it with olive oil and toast until it's lightly browned. Add in the water or chicken stock.  Cook and stir over medium heat until all the water is absorbed.  It takes about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and garlic back in and then stir in the pesto.  Top with cheese and herbs.  Add salt/pepper if needed.


My weekend passed uneventfully.  Honestly, most are uneventful right now.  But that's okay.  I have a job that requires me to talk and be "on" all day long, so I welcome the break to just be.

I got a haircut.  This is a whole long story thing.  I'll probably explain later in the week because this was indeed the only exciting part of my weekend. 

Except for the hailstorm.  Scout, in the aftermath.  

The cloud that dropped the hail, moving onto Colorado Springs.

I'm reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin.  It is fantastic and I'm moving slowly through it because I'm marking pages and highlighting passages.  Highly recommend. 

Things I didn't do include grade papers or clean the bathrooms. 


  1. I love an uneventful weekend, too! When I don't have one for a long time I get tetchy. I love Gretchen Rubin's writing; looks like that book will be going on my list. That recipe looks excellent, sadly I'm assuming pearl couscous isn't gluten free - how do you reckon I'd go by substituting quinoa??

  2. Ha, "things I didn't do." Yeah. I had big plans for this weekend and pretty much nothing productive got done because we were pretty booked up. Can't wait to hear the haircut story. I've actually never had couscous but it's on my list!

  3. Uneventful weekends are so nice! :) You look beautiful.

  4. Your hair looks great!
    Scout does not look to be enjoying the hail.
    I'm intrigued by the Gretchen Rubin book.

  5. I love that hail sky photo. And your hair! It looks nice and fresh.

    I'm a huge fan of the uneventful weekend.

    I've typically not liked couscous. Maybe I should try it again.

  6. I love that sky photo - that's one thing I dearly miss about Colorado, the views!

  7. Hail storm?! That's crazy. They keep telling us that we might get one, but still have not (I don't mind lol). That couscous looks amazing, I love the added garlic and tomatoes!

  8. Pinning this recipe...anything grains + tomato + pesto = winning. I bet this would be amazing with quinoa too.

    I want to hear the haircut story, too. I need to get mine cut sooooo badly but nobody ever does a good job here. I haven't had a hair cut I like in YEARS. I average about one trim every 2 years these days, because I always wait until I'm in Seattle.

  9. Couscous is one of my favorite sides!!! I wish my husband would try it, because I would make it a lot more! That picture of the cloud is awesome!!! My dogs were not fans of outside all weekend with the rain and storms here. I am going to read more about your book suggestion! Have a great week!


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