israeli couscous and tomato salad with arugula pesto

>> Tuesday, October 4, 2011

i have made basil pesto many many times. i had never made arugula pesto though.

so i decided to give it a whirl for the nanny family after finding the recipe in an issue of food and wine magazine.

it was simple and quite delicious. the arugula has a peppery kick and is high in vitamin a & c. and you can put this stuff on just about anything - pasta, shrimp, fish, chicken, beef, veggies. i suggest you give it a whirl sometime too.

6 cups packed arugula (6 ounces), plus whole leaves for garnish
2 cups israeli couscous (12 ounces)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pints red cherry tomatoes, halved
4 yellow or orange tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice

bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. add the 6 cups of arugula and blanch for 10 seconds. with a slotted spoon, transfer the arugula to a colander. rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain.

add the couscous to the boiling water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. drain the couscous and spread it out on a large baking sheet. drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to prevent clumping. let the couscous cool to room temperature.

in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. let cool.

squeeze the excess water from the arugula and coarsely chop it. transfer the arugula to a food processor. add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese and the 1/2 cup of olive oil and process until the pine nuts are finely chopped. season the pesto with salt and pepper.

transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir in the pesto. gently fold in the tomatoes. garnish with the arugula leaves and serve.


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