Cherry Tomato Couscous

Cherry Tomato Couscous Recipe

It has been nearly two years since I spent a weekend in the Northern California backwoods at my friend Lori's family cabin. Maybe some of you remember? The cabin is nestled deep in the woods on a huge plot of family-owned land, miles down an unpaved dirt road. I love the cabin. It was hand-built and is just the right combination of rustic and comfort - think plywood floors and down comforters. Well, apparently I behaved well enough last time to get an invite back two weekends ago. Plenty happened in those 48 hours - we watched a stunning moonrise from the cabin porch, rescued a baby possum, attempted to summit a mountain, flipped through endless magazines, and ate and drank puh-lenty.

Cherry Tomato Couscous

Lori made this delicious couscous for us and I thought I'd share it. It is simply cherry tomatoes, cucumber, chopped basil, and chickpeas tossed with the couscous, olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice. Finished with a bit of feta, it's a great way to use some of those cherry tomatoes that seem to want to hop right in my market bag at every turn.

Thanks for another great weekend Lori, Lisa, and Gwen - can't wait for our next cabin adventure.

Cherry Tomato Couscous Recipe

Keep your eyes peeled for whole wheat or barley couscous - either would work great here. You can easily make this vegan by leaving out the feta - maybe do some sort of harissa drizzle instead?

3 cups cooked couscous*
1/2 a basket of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup cooked chickpeas

1 lemon, cut in half
1 lime, cut in half
about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup basil or cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Combine the couscous, tomatoes, cucumber, and chickpeas in a large bowl. Lori - squeezes the lemon and lime juice directly into the bowl, so start by giving a good squeeze of lemon and lime juice into the bowl, add the olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Toss well, taste, and adjust with more of the above until it tastes just right. Lori notes - this really needs a generous amount of salt, and the lemon and lime juices might need to be adjusted depending on how juicy the fruit is.

Add the basil and feta and toss gently until it is evenly dispersed.

Serves 4 - 6.


*To cook the couscous: Either follow the package instructions or bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil, stir in a scant 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt and 2 cups of couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Steam for 5 to 10 minutes and then use a fork to fluff up the couscous.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Comments

  • This looks so fresh and yummy. It's such a great time for garden cherry tomatoes and basil, fabulous timing. I'm trying to come up with a protein replacement for the chickpeas (allergic). I wonder if diced tofu would work.... hmmm. Anyone have any other suggestions?

    niki at spilled ingredients
  • Another great recipe. I make Tunisian Couscous with lamb and also vegetarian. You can replace cucumber with some cooked al dente zucchini or yellow squash.

    Eileen Lee
  • Looks lovely. I think I will roast the cherry tomatoes first, since I love that caramelized flavor.

    Nancy_Dancehall
  • Sorry, but this recipe looks VERY similar to one published in Cooking Light several years ago. The only difference is that recipe adds edamame, scallions and cayenne peppar.

    Paige
  • Thanks for reminding me of a staple I used to make almost every week (almost to the last ingredient the same as your list)! Some ideas: add some good black olives, and/or some pan-fried tofu marinated with lemon juice (I like both feta and tofu). For a variation, you can also try some quickly-sauteed zucchini slices (maybe replacing the cucumber). And serve on a bed of romaine lettuce. I'll make this again this weekend, I just decided!

    Annette
  • Cous-cous is one of my favorite dishes because it is so versatile and easy to make. I like to cook it via the pilaf method: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a wide, deep pan, add the dry cous-cous and stir until it is lightly browned. Turn down the heat and carefully add water or stock (it will splutter so stand back). Bring to a simmer, add salt, turn off the heat and cover for approx 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. It doesn't get as fluffy as it does if you steam it, but it has a nice toasty flavor.

    Kim (Edible/Usable)
  • I love couscous. My favorite thing about it is that you can add almost any flavor or ingredient and it will turn out delicious.

    Nutmeg Nanny
  • This salad looks amazing. I'm a big couscous fan and lately I've been using the grain, quinoa, in with fresh veggies. I'm digging the vintage kitchen. Would love to see more photos of it.

    Reginald @ Ceramic Canvas
  • How perfect! I have all those ingredients sitting in my fridge including left over couscous that I've been loath to use up because I couldn't think of anything interesting to do with it. Thank you!

    Catie
  • Perfect Summer meal - the cabin sounds amazing. I'll zen out this morning at work and pretend I'm there!

    Sarah-Two Blue Lemons
  • simple and delicious- just perfect!

    fresh365
  • Lovely idea - It's similar to Tabouli, but with couscous instead of bulghur, and with the wonderful addition of classic Mediterranean vegetables. I agree with one of the comments above - I would also love a little crunch from something nutty like pignolis. The cabin sounds fantastic. Lucky girls.

    Michelle @ porktopurslane
  • A similar couscous dish is always a big hit with my family. But I often use leftover borscht to cook couscous for this kind of dish, instead of salted water. Yes, with this bright pink-purple colour, the result looks more like a piece of contemporary art than a bowl of food. But never failed to brighten up our dining table!

    Akiko
  • That looks delicious! I love dishes like this - simple, wholesome, and the ingredients are all things I usually have at home.

    Koek!
  • This looks great - a few flaked almonds would add a little bite as well (and protein!).

    Gourmet Chick
  • delicious!i will try this wonderful recipe!thank you!

    alison
  • This looks deliciously simple and perfect! I would love to sub in some cooked quinoa, since I have it on hand right now.

    Cate
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