Pomegranate Mint Couscous

Mint Pesto:

1/4 Cup Roasted, Unsalted Sunflower Seeds

1 - 2 Cloves Garlic

1 Teaspoon White Miso

Zest of 1/2 Lemon

2 Cups Loosely Packed Mint Leaves

1/2 Cup Loosely Packed Basil Leaves

1/4 Cup Flax or Hemp Seed Oil

Big Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Salt, to Taste

In a food processor, pulse the sunflower seeds and garlic lightly to break them down a bit, and add in the miso and lemon zest to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and introduce the mint and basil. Pulse again to incorporate, and then with the machine running, stream in the oil. Puree until mostly smooth but still slightly coarse in texture, and season with cayenne and salt to taste. Use right away, or store in airtight container in the fridge. The mint pesto can be made ahead of time refrigerated for up to a week.

Makes About 3/4 Cup

Pomegranate Couscous Salad:

2 Cups 100% Pomegranate Juice

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1 Cup Dry Israeli Couscous

1/2 Cup Frozen or Fresh Green Garbanzo Beans, or Frozen Green Peas

1/3 Cup Mint Pesto (See Recipe Above)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, if Needed

1 Cup Diced Seedless Cucumber

1/2 Cup Pomegranate Arils

Pinch Ground Black Pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the pomegranate juice and salt to a boil. Add in the couscous, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the green garbanzo beans or peas while the pasta is still hot, thawing or gently cooking the beans with the residual heat. Transfer to a large bowl, and thoroughly mix in the pesto. Add in the oil if needed to loosen up the pesto and more evenly distribute it throughout. Toss in the cucumber, arils, and season with pepper to taste. Stir well, and chill thoroughly before serving.

Makes 6 - 8 Side Servings

©Hannah Kaminsky http://www.bittersweetblog.com