Cook's Hideout: Israeli Couscous with Pesto & Carrots

May 26, 2013

Israeli Couscous with Pesto & Carrots

Blogging Marathon# 28: Week 4/ Day 3
Theme: BM Pairs - Chef Mireille's Gourmet Global
Dish: Israeli Couscous with Pesto & Carrots
For the final day of this month's BM, I'm paired with Chef Mireille who blogs at Gourmet Global. Her blog's name says it all. She has tons of gourmet dishes from all over the globe. I was lucky to meet her in person and she is as lively and bubbly in person as she is on her blog.
I've bookmarked a ton of recipes to try from her blog, but today I made this very simple one-pot dish, Pesto Israeli Couscous with Carrots. Mireille used Roasted garlic spinach pesto in her dish, but I made broccoli-mint pesto. Other than that I followed her recipe to the 'T'. 
This recipe uses Harissa, a Middle Eastern chili sauce. Luckily I had a jar of harissa in my pantry, an impulse buy from a Turkish grocery store. The combination of pesto and harissa gave this dish a very unique and interesting taste that I totally loved. I loved it so much that I added them both again to a 3 grain pilaf I made the very next day :-)
Israeli Couscous is a round/ ball shaped pasta that can be cooked right in the pan along with other ingredients, making this an ideal one-pot dish. Perfect for weeknight meals.

Israeli Couscous - ½cup
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Carrot - 1 small, diced
Broccoli Pesto - 3tbsp (recipe follows or you can use this Broccoli-Basil pesto)
Harissa - 1½tsp
Salt and Pepper - to taste

  • Heat 2tsp oil in a saute pan; add onions and carrots. Cook until veggies are tender.
  • Add pesto, harissa and Israeli couscous. Saute until couscous is lightly toasted and coated evenly with the spice mixture.
  • Next add 1½cups of water, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat and cook covered until couscous is cooked through, about 12-15 minutes.Serve warm.
Israeli Couscous with Pesto & Carrots
I made a spicy broccoli-mint pesto to add to the couscous. My mint plants are growing like crazy and I wanted to use some in this dish. I added a jalapeno to make the pesto nice and spicy. Omit it if you want a milder pesto.

Broccoli-Mint Pesto
Broccoli Mint Pesto:
Broccoli - 1cup of florets
Garlic - 2cloves
Mint - 1 cup, loosely packed
Jalapeno - 1 medium (remove the seeds and ribs to reduce the heat)
Lemon juice - 2tbsp
Pinenuts - ¼cup, toasted
Extravirgin olive oil - 2tbsp 
Salt and Pepper - to taste

  • Microwave broccoli for 2-3 minutes with a pinch of salt. Broccoli should be very tender once done.
  • Blend all other ingredients along with cooked broccoli into a smooth paste.
Store the leftover pesto in an airtight container and use within a week or freeze for longer shelf life.
Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked up today for BM# 28.


  1. so glad you liked it and I love your pesto...must try it!

  2. Loving your Broccoli Pesto!!! I can have that whole bowl now!!! The Color is so so inviting!!! :)

  3. lovely dish...i love such mix bag of flavors and this is like one pot meal

  4. The dish looks interesting, yes even I have met Mireille and found her full of life.The harrisa reminds me of some chillies I picked in US and not used:(..

  5. Even i tried my hands with broccoli pesto.. Very colourful dish.

  6. Though I can't imagine the taste, the pictures are really so tempting..

  7. Broccoli pesto is so interesting, healthy couscous .

  8. For a second I thought it was sabudana!! Love the fiery look of it!!

  9. I too thought it was sago when I looked at the picture and not the title.:)Looks lovely.


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