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Pearl couscous sometimes is referred to as Israeli couscous, though in Hebrew it’s known as ptitim. The pellet-sized wheat-based pasta cooks up with a pleasant chewiness and satisfying starchiness. To deepen its flavor and bring out nutty notes that come through in the finished dish, we like to brown the couscous before simmering it with liquid. In this single-skillet side dish, the couscous and zucchini absorb the bold, rich flavors of alliums, fragrant spices and umami-rich tomato paste before chopped herb(s) are mixed in to add fresh, grassy notes. A garnish of sliced almonds brings contrasting texture and accentuates the toastiness of the couscous.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
cups pearl couscous
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