Aug 19 2008

my favorite late summer recipe

Published by at 2:50 pm under cooking,recipes

  1. Go out to your garden, gather up a whole mess of cherry tomatoes.
  2. Snip off a big bunch of basil.
  3. Go back inside to your kitchen, and get out a box of plain couscous. Follow the directions for the whole box. (I’ve made it with both water and broth and haven’t found any big difference.
  4. While it’s sitting, rinse your tomatoes & basil, cut the tomatoes in half and chop up the basil. Inhale deeply, because that late summer basil smell = SO GOOD!
  5. Pop a lemon or two into the microwave for about 10-15 seconds (makes them easier to juice!) Slice in half, position a mesh strainer over a bowl and squeeze. Bang the seeds into the trash and toss the strainer into the sink.
  6. Take your bowl of lemon juice, add a pinch of kosher salt, some black pepper, your chopped up basil, and a swirl or two of extra virgin olive oil. Whisk.
  7. By now your couscous has absorbed all the liquid, and may have even melded itself into a pan-shape (if you were doing it in a pan that is). Pour it into a new bowl, fluffing with fork as you go. If you have some chunks that won’t fluff (because it melded itself into the pan-shape) no biggie. They’re yummy too.
  8. Pour your basily-lemony dressing over the top, add the tomatoes, combine gently and then dig in.
  9. I think this is supposed to be chilled, but I usually can’t wait.
  10. Also, this is good the next day, but significantly LESS lemony, so plan to add more lemon juice, if you want.
  11. Last thing – if you do all this when the couscous is still hot, the basil will lose some of it’s super-greenness, especially if you keep leftovers. It won’t affect the taste, but if you want it to stay pretty, cool the couscous first.

So yummy. I’m all out now (used store tomatoes) and need to make more. Hopefully I will have nice red tomatoes in my garden now ready to be EATEN.

The non-narrative version after the break.

Basil Lemon Tomato Couscous

  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup of chopped basil (a big bunch)
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 2-3 cups of halved cherry tomatoes
  • 4-5 cups prepared plain couscous (1 box)

Prepare the couscous according to the box instructions. Chill.
Make the dressing by whisking the oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and chopped basil.
Pour over the couscous along with the tomatoes.

-amy makes a note to buy about 5 more boxes of couscous, and a lemon tree.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “my favorite late summer recipe”

  1. Heatheron 25 Aug 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Hey, remember those amazing volunteer tomatoes we discussed several months ago?
    Flowers and no fruit, grrrrrr, stupid hybrids. Good thing I’ve got plenty of other tomatoe plants, they, however, refuse to ripen. I may finally have a few in September.

  2. Suzanneon 05 Jul 2009 at 12:16 pm

    I served this dish yesterday, alongside some smokin’ ribs and grilled zucchini. It was a big hit! Thanks for the recipe.