Israeli couscous with tomatoes is an amazing side dish full of flavor. Toasted pearl couscous is tossed with a burst tomato sauce and finished with a squeeze of lime for a delightful tang. Yum!
I recently discovered Alison Roman and her amazing recipes, and quickly became obsessed. First making her famous Stew recipe. Then trying out a delicious salmon recipe with soy sauce & scallions from her new cookbook, Nothing Fancy. I’ve also tried her “Stew Two” recipe featuring spicy white beans and broccoli rabe. And then, when I didn’t think her recipes could get any better, I tried her Tomato Poached Fish with Chile Oil & Herbs, which inspired this post on my blog.
This recipe is a spin off of that poached fish recipe which came about because I’ll often make that recipe with just two pieces of fish, since it’s just the two of us at home, while keeping the other proportions the same. What I learned was that the extra leftover couscous was so amazing just on its own, and it’s amazing reheated. I actually look forward to that leftover brothy, tomato couscous as much as I look forward to the original.
That’s how this pearl couscous recipe came about. It’s perfect served as a side dish, but it also makes a great, vegetarian meal when it’s served on its own. You can even amp it up a bit by adding in some protein-packed, canned chickpeas. Maybe adding on a sprinkle of feta cheese too, perhaps?
What is Israeli Couscous?
- Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous) is similar in size to grains of rice or barley, but it’s actually a pasta. It has a chewy texture, and is perfect for adding to soups or pasta salads, because it soaks up sauces and dressings in the best way possible. Traditional couscous is different than pearl couscous. Its grains are much smaller, and the texture is more like quinoa.
How to Cook Couscous
- To begin, toast the couscous in oil or butter, until it’s golden brown. Then, add chicken broth and a pinch of salt, bring it to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, until it’s tender.
How to Make Israeli Couscous with Tomatoes
- Toast, then simmer couscous covered, for 10 minutes, until tender.
- Meanwhile, saute tomatoes with olive oil, in a large saute pan.
- Allow tomato mixture to simmer until it becomes saucy. Add in broth and a splash of fish sauce. Cook a few minutes long.
- Combine cooked couscous with tomato sauce, squeeze in lime juice and season with salt & pepper.
Tips for Adding Flavor to Couscous:
- Toast the pearl couscous in olive oil or butter. This simple first step is a great way to add flavor.
- Cook the couscous in broth. Chicken broth adds a lot of flavor to couscous. If you are making this dish vegetarian, feel free to use vegetable broth. Be sure to add in a pinch of salt too.
- Add in other flavorful ingredients. Serving this dish on it’s own? You can add in even more flavor by adding in some canned chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and a sprinkle of feta cheese. Don’t like cilantro? Basil would also be amazing in this tomato couscous. Amp that up even more by stirring in some small mozzarella pearls.
What Do You Eat Couscous With?
Wine Pairings for Tomato Couscous:
- Sauvignon Blanc has a good acidity to it that will stand up to the tomatoes. Pinot Gris is a another white wine option.
- Good red wine options are Pinot Noir and Zinfandel.
If you loved this tomato couscous recipe I would appreciate it so much if you would give it a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.
Israeli Couscous Recipe
Israeli couscous with tomatoes is an amazing side dish full of flavor. Toasted pearl couscous is tossed with a burst tomato sauce and finished with a squeeze of lime for a delightful tang.
Israeli couscous with Tomatoes
- 2 cups Israeli couscous
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 3 ½ cups chicken broth (divided)
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes (halved)
- ½ teaspoon fish sauce (optional(or 1 anchovy))
- ½ lime (juiced)
- Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add couscous and toast until fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Add 2 ½ cups chicken stock and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
- To a large skillet, add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they become saucy, 5-6 minutes.
- Add remaining chicken broth (1 cup) and fish sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened but still brothy, 3-5 minutes.
- Off heat, stir in cooked couscous and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Let sit a few minutes to allow broth to absorb. Season with additional salt and pepper and serve.