life has gone from chilled to hectic. i’m in the midst of sorting through everything i own and packing up my life to move to london! i’m beyond excited, but with less than four weeks to go, it also means a lot of life-admin needs to get done… it feels weird having to judge what is worth keeping, i’m quite sentimental and find it hard to part with party dresses that i would never wear again but hold so many good memories in them..
nevertheless, i couldn’t let myself miss out on a virtual vegan potluck round, especially one as big as this one, so i opted to step to the right, out of my favourite ‘tiny foods’ category (aka the appetizer) and offer up a simple but sweet side dish.
or you may be beyond excited to see what i’ve brought!
well, i rustled up a fresh pea, pine nut and mint couscous. i chose this one as i think is fabulous and celebrates the southern hemisphere springtime – i’ve yet to find something that says ‘spring’ louder than freshly snapped peas..
i love the textures of this dish: the pop of sweet peas contrasted by the soft couscous, the sticky dates and the crunch of pine nuts. the fresh flavours also make it taste really light and aren’t overpowering if you were to serve it alongside something else.
pearl couscous with peas, pine nuts and mint
- ½ cup of fresh peas (if not in season, you can use frozen)
- 2.5 cups of vege stock
- 250g pearl couscous (also called israeli couscous)
- 1 cup of mint leaves, thinly sliced
- a couple of dates, pitted and thinly sliced
- pine nuts (could use flaked almonds, I used a mix of pine nuts, sunflower seeds and pepitas), I toast them in a little pan over low heat for a few minutes until slightly golden
- extra virgin olive oil
- fresh lemon to squeeze on top
- microherbs or extra mint leaves to garnish I used micro mizuna leaves for their slight spice)
- in a small/medium saucepan, bring water to boil and pop the fresh peas in. allow to cook for 3-4 minutes and then drain. you can run them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- in a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to boil and then add the pearl couscous. lower to a simmer, cooked covered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until stock has been absorbed
- in a bowl, mix together the peas, couscous, mint leaves, date pieces, and toasted pine nuts.
- season with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. garnish with extra mint leaves or microherbs
you can enjoy this dish either warm or cold. i think it would really suit swapping the dates out for other sweeteners like pomegranate.
i hope you enjoyed your time with me, on to the next side dish over at roshni’s kitchen…