Who: Jill Donenfeld & Tiana Tenet, co-founders of The Culinistas
Why? Light, healthy, and hearty, pearl couscous and sweet peas with their tendrils and an echo of Fresno are what we love to eat from a bowl as the sun goes down with a cold, minerally glass of white.
1/2 c pearled couscous
2 c English peas, shelled
3/4 c plus 2 Tbsp pepitas, divided
1 c pea tendrils, and more for garnish
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 c olive oil, and more for drizzling
1/2 Fresno chili, seeded, minced
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a pot of salted boiling water, cook couscous until tender, eight to 10 minutes. Strain and drizzle with oil. Set aside in a large bowl.
In the same pot, boil a new batch of salted water. Blanch the peas until they’re cooked all the way through, three to five minutes. Strain, shock, and add to couscous.
In a food processor, add half-cup pepitas, pea tendrils, lemon juice, zest, cumin, and onion powder. While the motor is running, stream in oil and blend to a chunky sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Add a quarter-cup pepitas and Fresno to couscous and peas. Dress the mixture with pesto and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with pea tendrils, remaining pepitas, and a few thin slices of Fresno chili.