If you have a little blender (even a hand one will work) making pesto is a piece of piss, and once you’ve done it you can keep it covered in the fridge for over a week. I don’t think I need to explain its extensive uses… I recommend maybe with pasta?!
Giant couscous is pretty much as it sounds, did you know that couscous is made from the same as pasta? Wheat flour. So when they make giant couscous it basically goes into a larger mould than the one for regular couscous. If you can’t get hold of it this salad would be great with pasta too, or the regular couscous. I know that Merchant Gourmet do giant couscous in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.
Unfortunately I don’t have a BBQ yet, so my chargrilled peppers were charred on a griddle, but if you do have one and you have it fired up, it will give your peppers a better flavour.
For the pesto
A good handful of basil leaves (about 25g)
An even better handful of rocket (about 50g)
1 clove of garlic
½ tsp of grated lemon zest
100-150ml olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
30g pine nuts, lightly toasted
Salt and pepper to season
1 tsp sugar
200g Giant Couscous
3 Red Peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 Red Onions, quartered lengthways
1 tbsp of pine nuts, lightly toasted
20g Manchego (or any cheese you like will go well!)
Handful of pea shoots
To make the pesto place the basil, rocket, garlic and lemon zest in the blender first and blend until quite a small chop. (Generally if you are making a salsa verde or sauce with fresh greens, if you chop the greens in the blender first before adding any liquids, your sauce will stay a brighter green). Then add all the remaining ingredients until you have a pesto-ey consistency. If it is too thick add a little more olive oil, don’t worry its good for you!
Cook the couscous according to the pack instructions, drain and place in a bowl with the pesto.
Cook the peppers and onion by drizzling with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper before grilling until slightly charred, turn over making sure they are evenly cooked.
Place the chargrilled onions and peppers into the bowl with the couscous, season with a pinch of salt and freshly grated pepper and mix. Slice the manchego cheese and serve the salad with the peashoots, pine nuts and manchego on top.