Yield
Serves 4
Time
8 minutes cooking
  • Fine sea salt
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 cup frozen or shelled fresh green peas
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped raw pistachios
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup Kale Pesto (recipe follows)
  • 2 cups chopped butter lettuce
  • 6 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges, for squeezing
  • Shaved Parmesan, for garnish

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt until it tastes briny like the ocean. When the water returns to a rolling boil, add the couscous and boil until al dente, about 7 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 1 minute longer. Drain the couscous and peas in a colander and run under a stream of cold water to stop the cooking process.

Transfer the couscous and peas to a medium bowl. Add the pistachios, scallions, and 1/2 cup of the pesto and toss until the couscous is well coated.

In a small bowl, toss together the lettuce, 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice, and the olive oil.

Add the remaining 4 teaspoons lemon juice to the couscous mixture and taste to adjust for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper.

To assemble, arrange a small handful of butter lettuce in each serving bowl. Place 1/2 cup of the couscous mixture in each bowl atop the lettuce. Finish with a tablespoon of pesto in each, and serve with lemon wedges and a few shavings of Parmesan.

Kale Pesto

Makes 1 3/4 cups

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed (about 4 cups roughly chopped leaves)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for the container
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor, combine the kale, garlic, pistachios, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Process on high speed until the mixture is smooth. If you need to loosen the texture, add a teaspoon or two of water and continue to process. Add the Parmesan and blend until fully incorporated. Taste for seasonings and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Place in a small bowl or glass jar, cover the top with a thin layer of olive oil, seal, and refrigerate for up to 5 days. This pesto freezes well in small containers or plastic bags, and it keeps for up to 1 month.

Reprinted from Food with Friends by Leela Cyd. Copyright © 2016 by Leela Cyd. Photographs by Leela Cyd. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.