Farmers market Sundays when I would come home with a bag full of ripe red tomatoes seem like a distant memory.
And it’s much too early to be doing a countdown to tomato season.
Winter hasn’t been so bad yet, but I am waiting anxiously for the chill to really set in. It’s inevitable. I know.
Being stuck inside triggers seasonal claustrophobia. When I do get outside, I will be bundled up from head to toe in a coat, hat, boots, gloves, and lots of layers you can’t see.
To stay positive through January, February and March, I remind myself that soon my husband and I will be talking to our six-year-old getting his thoughts on what we will be planting in our container garden.
My version of hope involves making plans.
Of course that isn’t much comfort when the surplus of tomatoes won’t happen until August. That sounds like an eternity away. I couldn’t be anymore impatient.
Yes, I know I could go to the grocery and buy tomatoes shipped from warmer parts of the world, but they just don’t taste as good.
Off-season tomatoes tend to be mealy and bland. They are incredibly disappointing when you think about tomatoes at their peak.
If in a moment of weakness I buy a pint of tomatoes, I revive them by making a batch of slow-roasted tomatoes.
My other way to satisfy my off-season tomato craving is to stop by the olive bar for the marinated roasted tomatoes
These garlicky tomatoes are great because you don’t have to do anything to them and they add so much flavor to different dishes like pizza and pasta.
For this roasted tomato olive couscous, I stir these special chopped tomatoes with Kalamata olives and plump grains of pearl couscous.
How To Make Roasted Tomato Olive Couscous
First, I simmer the couscous in a saucepan on the stove until the grains are tender.
Next I sauté chopped tomatoes and their oil with the olives to infuse everything together.
Finally, I fold the couscous into the tomatoes and olives along with feta and chopped parsley.
Roasted tomato olive couscous makes a great side, but I love it as a vegetarian main. To stretch it, I will add greens like arugula and spinach to turn it into a grain salad.
When tomatoes are in season, I will use my own roasted cherry tomatoes instead of the jarred ones for the couscous.
Roasted Tomato Olive Couscous
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 13 minutes
- Total Time: 18 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
1 tablespoon olive oil
1–1/2 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
1–3/4 cups water
1 cup marinated roasted tomato halves packed in oil, roughly chopped and 1 tablespoon oil reserved
1 cup roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toast the couscous until it is light brown, about 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 10 minutes.
While the couscous is cooking, combine the tomatoes and their oil and olives in a large skillet over medium high heat. Sauté for a few minutes until the mixture becomes fragrant. Stir in the couscous, feta and parsley.
Season with salt and pepper before serving.