Israeli Couscous and Tomato Salad with Arugula Pesto
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 8
- 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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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.