Whole-wheat pearl couscous is a revelation: full-flavored, with a great texture, easy to cook. It also brings a terrific nuttiness to this side dish.
If you’re willing to go meatless, this could make a simple main course when paired with a salad. If you can’t find whole-wheat pearl couscous, toasted Israeli couscous may be substituted.
Couscous With Swiss Chard and Tomatoes
Makes 4 cups
1 cup dried whole-wheat pearl couscous
1 tablespoon mild olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1 pound plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch-long,1/4-inch-wide strips
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound Swiss chard, tough stems removed, rinsed well and cut into 2-inch-long, 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 4 cups)
1/3 cup white wine
5 to 7 large basil leaves, stacked, rolled tightly, then cut crosswise into very thin strips
Cook the couscous according to the package directions. When the couscous is tender, use a fork to fluff and separate.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring, until just softened but not browned. Add the tomatoes, then season with salt and pepper to taste; cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chard and white wine; cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chard starts to wilt. Uncover, stir and cook for about 3 minutes, until the chard has completely wilted. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes, then add the cooked couscous and toss to incorporate. Remove from the heat.
Gently stir in the basil, then taste; adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.
NOTE: To peel tomatoes, use a small, sharp knife to cut an X in the bottom of each one. Drop them into a large bowl of just-boiled water; let sit for a few minutes. You should see the peel start to curl where the X is. Transfer to a bowl of cold water or let cool, then discard the peel. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half; gently squeeze to release and discard the seed gel in each half.
NUTRITION Per serving: 200 calories, 7 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar