, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Serves 2

Preparation Time – 5 mins

Cooking Time – 20 mins


  • 1, 20-25g (average supermarket size) bunch of basil, thick stalks finely sliced
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 250ml water
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 200g Merchant Gourmet Giant Couscous
  • 250g of any mixed green vegetables you like (I used asparagus, broad beans, sugar snaps, peas and spring onions)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Start with the pistou. Boil your kettle. Fill a large pot 3/4 full with boiling water. Put a bowl of cold water next to your cooker. Boil the basil for 30 seconds. Transfer it to the bowl of cold water with a sieve; keep the cooking water for the vegetables. As soon as the basil is cold, drain it. Put the basil in a small liquidiser and add 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and the parmesan. Blend to a smooth puree. Put the puree next to your cooker.
  2. Next, start the couscousotto. Get a medium (16-18cm) saucepan. Add the vegetable stock, garlic and 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil. Bring to the boil and add the giant couscous. Bring back to the boil again. Turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 6 minutes or until tender. Take off the lid. Simmer for 1 minute more. By now the giant couscous should have absorbed most of the liquid, be very creamy and just cooked through but firm. Cover, and leave to sit for 2 minutes. By this stage your vegetables should be ready too. Don’t panic if they are not, the giant couscous is fine to sit for a few minutes longer.
  3. While the giant couscousotto simmers, bring the basil water to the boil. Add the green vegetables boil for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Put a colander in your sink. Drain the vegetables. Return them to the pan. Sauté for 10-20 seconds, and then turn off the heat.
  4. Add 6 tablespoons of pistou to the giant couscous. Gently fold it in. If you like the consistency to be a bit saucier, add hot water, 1 tbsp at a time until you are happy. Toss the vegetables with the remaining pistou (approximately 1 tbsp). Season to taste. Serve the vegetables on top of the giant couscous.