One of the greatest scents of summer is the fragrance of fresh herbs. I use many of the herbs in my small garden nearly every day – basil in a Caprese salad, sorrel in scrambled eggs and thyme and sage in roasted potatoes. The chocolate mint, with its clean aroma, presents more of a challenge. However, last night’s dinner of lamb tenderloin demanded the mint.
Rather than use the mint in a sauce for the lamb, I decided to incorporate it in a couscous. First, I roughly chopped three sprigs of mint leaves and shelled and roughly chopped a handful of salted pistachios.
Then, I brought 1 1/4 cups of water to a boil and added 1 cup of whole wheat pearl couscous. I stirred the couscous periodically and added one tablespoon of butter, a dash of turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. When the couscous was just about cooked (after 8 minutes), I stirred in the pistachios and mint. The saltiness of the pistachios was an excellent complement to the subtle chocolate flavor of the mint. The color was also vibrant and summery.
Consider serving this couscous alongside a lamb dish, as I did with the lamb tenderloin marinated in olive oil, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Make a little extra for the next day, as I found it to be a tasty addition to an antipasto lunch of prosciutto and cheeses.