This healthy and refreshing vegan meal is made with couscous dressed in mint pesto and served with fresh arugula and crispy pan-fried tofu.
My veggie garden is going strong at this point, and while I’m certainly in no position to do any kind of expert gardening tips posts, I am pretty set up to post something along the lines of Things Not to Do When Growing Your First Vegetable Garden. I’ve got lots of them. Thing number 1: don’t plant a bunch of herbs within a foot of your zucchini, because even thought it looks small now, that plant will take your herbs down. Apparently they call is squash for a reason.
So as you can guess, I did that ^. My cilantro and parsley, which I would be using constantly at this point, are pretty much gone. My basil seemed to be going pretty strong by the time the zucchini plant took off and is still hanging in there. The one herb that seems to have fully escaped the wrath of squash is mint, which I planted towards the front of the bed and furthest away from my zucchini located at the rear, and which, as luck would have it, is the herb that I’m most often at a loss as to what to do with. I think I planted it just for that reason, you know, so I’d be forced to try something new, lest I be judged by my poor, lonely mint plant.
I’m happy to say that I figured something out. Actually, I figured a few things out, amazingly, so I’m hoping some of you reading have some mint looking to find a way onto your dinner plate as well. This was the first of my mint dishes. Knowing that you can make all kinds of crazy pestos with fresh herbs, I thought I’d try my hand at some mint pesto. It was delightful.
Mint and couscous are two elements you’ll find in lots of Moroccan cuisine, and while I’m not sure you’d ever find mint pesto in a Moroccan kitchen, I’m willing to bet the tofu sends any degree of authenticity right out the window. So let’s call this one Moroccan inspired. Let’s call it delicious too. I did.
Mint Pesto Couscous with Tofu and Arugula
For the Mint Pesto
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup fresh mint
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- juice of 2 lemons
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked couscous
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu drained and pressed at least 15 minutes
- 4 cups fresh arugula
Prepare the Mint Pesto
- Place all ingredients in foods processor or blender and blend until smooth.
Prepare the Rest
- Prepare couscous according to package instructions.
- While couscous cooks, prepare tofu. Cut into bite-sized cubes.
- Coat a large skillet with oil or cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook on each side until browned and crispy, about 5 minutes per side.
- Transfer couscous, pesto and tofu to large pot or mixing bowl. Stir until fully mixed. You can add a dash of oil if you find the couscous in clumping.
- Add arugula and stir completely.