I randomly bought pearl couscous on a whim about 6 months ago. Guess what was still sitting in my pantry unopened today?
It wasn’t because I didn’t have any ideas about what to cook with it, it’s just that I seldom cook with pearl couscous and last time I made it I wasn’t too happy with how it turned out so needed to get motivated to try cook with it again.
Alas, I have taken a risotto style approach for preparing the couscous instead. What I ended up with a huge burst of flavour within a filling and healthy meal. Perfect!
I was hesitant to include the word risotto in this recipe at all because quite frankly it’s not a risotto. But it is similar to the style of cooking I used to prepare the couscous today. Grains absorbing the cooking liquid and leaving them al dente with additional ingredients mixed in. Works for me.
This recipe is conveniently vegetarian.
Pearl Couscous – Risotto Style (serves 2-3)
What you’re going to need
3/4 cup pearl couscous
1 400 ml bottle passata (or 1 tin tomatoes, pureed using a stick blender)
1 clove garlic, minced or grated with a microplane
1/2 zucchini, sliced into thick matchsticks
1/2 eggplant, sliced lengthways into rectangular pieces
3 small vine ripened tomatoes, kept whole
50 g haloumi, processed into a rough crumb
small handful basil leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to season
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius. On a lined baking tray, add the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake until soft and browned (~20 minutes)
- Using a saucepan that has a lid, heat up a small drizzle of olive oil on a medium heat. Cook the garlic for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the Passata and mix well.
- Add the pearl couscous, mix and allow to get to a simmer. Place the lid on whilst cooking and stir every 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste. Cook until pearl couscous is al dente and tomatoes are still saucy. (Note: if you’re finding it too thick, add small amounts of water). Mix in chopped basil.
- In a small fry pan, quickly pan fry the haloumi for 1-2 minutes.
- Once couscous, eggplant and zucchini are ready, mix together in the saucepan with the haloumi. Serve hot with the roast tomato in the centre.