Roasted tomato couscous

Hello readers!  I hope I'm not too late in posting this recipe (I actually made this 2 weeks ago), because I realize the season for freshly grown tomatoes is almost gone.  I picked up these heirloom tomatoes at Schlafly's farmers market about 2 weeks ago, the same time I purchased the fresh figs and persimmons.  {If you recall, I made persimmon rosemary balsamic vinegar in which I drizzled over the fresh figs...yum, yum, yum}.  Anyway, I did not use all the tomatoes when making my tomato galette, so I was in a quandary on how to use them.  I knew I didn't want to use them in a salad, or on a sandwich, but something different.  Ahh, then I remembered...Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Ottolenghi and Tamami.  

I recalled seeing this recipe when I was flipping through the cookbook preparing for my friend Sue's 50th birthday back in August.  Although I didn't serve this dish for her birthday, I knew that I would be coming back to try it sometime soon.  

In the Jerusalem Cookbook, Ottolenghi named this dish "Tomato Party" because it uses as many varieties of tomatoes as possible, which are easy to find during the peak harvest season (late Summer to early Fall).  He also notes that he likes to vary the cooking technique on the tomatoes (charred/roasted, slightly cooked, and raw) to maximize the "tomatoey effect".  All I've got to say is this is one party I'm glad to have.  

The tomatoes that were roasted were sweet yet savory.  I think I would have been happy just eating a plate of them by themselves.  But, atop the creamy, almost buttery couscous was even more delightful.  Now I'm kicking myself that I didn't try this recipe sooner, because tomato season is slipping away.  I hope you get a chance to try this soon.  If not, you'll have something to look forward to next Summer.  As always, here to good food and gladness!

CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe.  Serves 4.  Adapted from Jerusalem: A Cookbook

Ingredients for Roasted Tomato Couscous

  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • coarse salt and pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 medium red heirloom tomato, wedges
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small green tomato, wedges
  • 1 medium yellow tomato, wedges
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped oregano
  • 2 Tbsp chopped basil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

Directions for Roasted Tomato Couscous

  1. Preheat oven = 325 degrees F.
  2. Place couscous into a large bowl with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  Pour the boiling water over the couscous, stir, then cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside for 12 minutes or until tender and water is absorbed.  Remove plastic wrap and fluff couscous with a fork.  Set aside and allow to cool.
  3. On a large baking sheet, lined with foil, arrange the wedges of tomatoes.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, remove from the oven.  Add some of the halved cherry tomatoes onto the baking sheet (the remaining cherry tomatoes will remain uncooked).  Add a pinch of salt, pepper to cherry tomatoes, along with a drizzle of oil and vinegar. 
  4. Increase the oven temperature = 400 degree F.  Return the baking sheet with tomatoes to the oven.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  Remove and allow to cool.
  5. Mix together couscous, tomatoes, garlic and herbs.  Pour any juices off the baking sheet onto the couscous.  Mix gently together.  Salt and pepper as needed.  Garnish with a light drizzle of olive oil.