Pesto Pearl Couscous

After hibernating in the winter, I always get so much more social during the summer months. That means lots of opportunities for cookouts, potlucks and outdoor movies on the national mall. I usually get volunteered to bring dessert to group dinners with friends but sometimes, I like to go savory instead and bring a hearty pasta salad, like my favorite pesto pearl couscous!

The best way I can describe this pasta salad is by calling it ‘caprese-ish’. Let me explain. It has all the elements of a traditional caprese salad (basil, mozzarella and tomato) just transformed.

I haven’t made much of a secret of my obsession with caprese but sometimes it’s good to go beyond the classic and elevate the ingredients. When I was thinking of how to elevate basil, pesto was a natural front runner. I bought pre made pesto at my local grocery store because I like to keep dishes simple to make, even when they look fancy.

When it came to cheese, that was a no-brainer. I consider burrata to be the better version of mozzarella. If you’ve never had burrata, you’re in for a real treat! The outside is solid mozzarella but the inside is super creamy.  Just break it open and enjoy!

This dish is great for potlucks because it can be made ahead of time, doesn’t need to be heated up and is so yummy!

Pesto Pearl Couscous
Recipe Type: Dinner, side
Author: Charlotte Lamontagne
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • 2 cups pearl couscous
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons pesto, divided
  • 5 cups of arugula
  • 12 ounces burrata
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay tomatoes out on a baking sheet and top with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the sea salt. Roast until tomatoes start to break open, about 15 minutes.
  2. In a medium pot, bring water and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a boil. Add couscous, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Once cooked, mix in ¼ cup of pesto and add the tomatoes. Let cool.
  3. In a large salad bowl, add the arugula and the couscous. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of pesto. Pour over arugula and couscous and toss to coat evenly. Top with burrata.

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