Just Like a Cuddle and a Spanking
A party is all about who you get to set the mood, just as a side dish is clutch for ensuring that every bite of the entree du jour is a happy ending. And here at the DGK, we are about both multiple bites and multiple happy endings. In the next week or so, we’ll be sharing a series of stuffed (*giggle*) zucchini (*giggle) recipes that we came up with after our buddy and fellow dirty girl, Maria E., tasked us with making. She specifically asked for tomorrow’s version, along with this couscous recipe, and we had to oblige. Our mama’s raised us right as rain, and we don’t ever disappoint.
I pretty much fell in love with this dish right away – a warm pasta pearl salad brimming with summer flavor and tasty enough for vegans and meatatarians alike. Roasting the plum tomatoes and red onions brings out candy sweetness, and the basil and champagne vinegar kick the shit up a delicious notch. It’s a cuddle and a spanking all at once. My kind of party!
Israeli Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes, Red Onion and Basil
1 red onion
8 plum tomatoes
4-5 sprigs of thyme
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 box of israeli couscous (about 10 oz.)
1/4 c. of basil leaves, thinly sliced
1 tbs. of champagne vinegar
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and begin halving the tomatoes and placing them on the sheet, cut side up. Peel the red onion and cut into thick, 1/4 in. slices. Nestle between the tomatoes on the cookie sheet, along with the smashed cloves of garlic. Sprinkle the mix liberally with salt, pepper and a healthy dose of olive oil. Drop the sprigs of thyme on top, pop in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes. Check the tomatoes and onion to make sure that they are not to dry or burning at all – if so, add some more olive oil to wet those babies down. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and heavily salt (think briny sea water). Add your israeli couscous and cook according to the package directions, about 8-10 minutes. As the couscous cooks, begin roughly chopping the roasted veggies – you want slivers of onion, minced garlic and slices of tomato. Discard the thyme stems and any blackened bits. Add to a mixing bowl, making sure not to lose any of the precious juices from the tomatoes. When the couscous is done, drain well and add pour directly into the mixing bowl with the roasted veggies. Toss with the basil leaves, champagne vinegar and then taste for salt and pepper. You may also want to add a bit more olive oil to wet it all down a little more – about a tablespoon or two. You know we like to keep it wet in the DGK. Serve warm.
Editors Note: The original recipe is vegan and perfect the way it is, but if you want a little bit of a salty bite, you might try tossing in some crumbled feta right before serving for flavor and color contrast. Just a thought.