I’m always on the lookout for a good whole grain dish. This whole wheat couscous is a winner on several fronts. It’s tart and tangy, savory and sweet. It’s super simple, and it plays as well as a side dish as it does a salad.
If you need fast-cooking whole grains, stock your pantry with whole wheat couscous. As Maria Speck notes in her wonderful book, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals (Ten Speed Press), couscous is an anomaly. “It is neither a grain nor a pasta,” she notes, but it is eaten like a grain. You can vary the flavor of this recipe by using different types of pesto. We used our Basil-Mint Pesto here, but you also could use our Asian Pesto or Spicy Sage and Parsley Pesto, or even some from a jar. Whether it’s homemade or store-bought, use a bold pesto you really love since it adds most of the flavor to this dish. Serve with fish or chicken. “Garnish with 1/4 cup chopped toasted pistachios,” Speck suggests. “Or make it a light meal with crumbled ricotta salata, goat cheese or feta cheese and a few olives.”