It’s incredible how such everyday ingredients such as tomato and basil can make for such a flavoursome salad recipe. Complement the sweet blistered tomatoes with broth infused Israeli couscous for a quick and easy side salad.
What Are Blistered Tomatoes?
Blistered tomatoes are essentially cooked tomatoes. When heat is applied to tomatoes, the skin breaks and the juices start to flow out. You’ll also find that the skin begins to look a little wrinkled.
How Do We Blister Tomatoes?
You can do this in 2 ways. You can simply fry them in some olive oil in a fry pan for a few minutes, or you can place them in the oven. The fry pan method is perhaps the most popular of the two, and it is super-fast taking only a few minutes. A little jiggle of the fry pan and you’re done!
Why Do We Cook Tomatoes?
Once tomatoes are cooked, the consistency of the tomato changes to little dollops of bursting sweetness. They soften to the point of almost melting in your mouth. When cooked, all the natural sweetness is released and becomes even sweeter, which is why it’s such a popular thing to do. Simplicity at its best!
Another lesser known incentive to make blistered tomatoes is that it is actually healthier to eat cooked tomatoes than it is raw tomatoes. This is because the lycopene antioxidant increases when it is put through a little heat.
Blistered Tomato Recipes
We are certainly only limited by our imagination as to the different ingredients we can add to make blistered tomatoes. Our favourite methods are simply plain, with olive oil and of course, balsamic blistered tomatoes makes it to the top of the list. Here are some other combinations you can try:
- Butter, basil, parsley and garlic.
- Lime and coriander.
- Red wine vinegar, sumac, cumin and chilli powder.
- Olive oil, garlic and bell pepper flakes.
- Thyme, lemon and sea salt.
- Red onion and balsamic vinegar.
- Dried oregano, olive oil and pepper.
- Baby capers and olive oil.
Just grab a few punnets of cherry tomatoes and voila! You’ll have a super simple side dish for your mid-week dinners or one of the components of your totally Instagrammable grazing table when you’re entertaining.
We really do love our tomatoes and we have certainly created quite a few including our Tomato and Artichoke Salad with Mint Dressing, Breakfast Salad with Mushrooms, Avocado and Tomatoes or perhaps our Asparagus, Roasted Onion and Balsamic Tomato Salad.
If you’re super keen to create your own salad recipe, we can help you with our tomato flavour profile. This should give you some inspiration of what goes well with tomatoes.
Why I Love Blistered Tomato and Basil Salad with Israeli Couscous
This is an incredibly easy salad with no dressing. The balsamic blistered tomatoes inject sweet and slightly tart flavours into the recipe whilst the vegetable broth gives every single giant couscous salty hints. By folding the avocado through the couscous when it’s still warm, it gives the whole dish a creamy texture without any dairy.
The freshness of the anise-like basil and coriander gives the whole dish a lift. Truly simple, yet delicate and almost hearty. We love healthy couscous recipes, and its simplicity means it can be whipped up on a whim!
How to Make Blistered Tomato and Basil Salad with Israeli Couscous
Get the Avocado Ready
The first step in this vegan couscous recipe is to prepare the avocado. Cut it in half, peel it and dice half of the fruit. Place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Smash the other half and put on toast for breakfast the next day.
How to Cook the Israeli Couscous
In a small saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth to the boil.
Add ½ cup of uncooked Israeli couscous and bring it down to a low heat and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente.
Drain in a colander and run under cold water for a couple of brief seconds and then place in the mixing bowl with the avocado.
Gently fold the warm couscous through the avocado to give it a creamy texture.
If you love the bounce and texture of the Israeli couscous, you should also try our Roast Pumpkin Salad with Israeli Couscous and Apple.
How to Cook Balsamic Blistered Tomatoes
In a small mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. Coat them thoroughly.
Add 1 tsp to a large fry pan on medium heat. When hot, add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Toss occasionally. Remove from the heat and rest.
How to Prepare the Rest of the Salad
Roughly chop the coriander to yield ½ cup. Have some extra for garnish.
Pick the basil leaves whole to yield ½ cup.
Add the coriander, basil leaves, juice of ¼ lemon into the mixing bowl of avocado and Israeli couscous. Season with salt and pepper.
How to Assemble the Salad
On a platter, place the salad in a heap.
Gently place the balsamic blistered tomatoes on top.
Garnish with some coriander.
Season with pepper and serve.
This healthy couscous recipe truly is a magnificent symphony of flavours. To think that it can be done under 20 minutes is fantastic. Great for those days when you simply don’t have time or if you’re after something light yet wholesome. Give this tomato and basil salad a go and let us know how you went!
More Plant-Based Recipes
- Watermelon and Apple Salad with Tamari Lime Dressing
- Charred Corn with Roasted Red Onion, Avocado And Tomato Salad
- Lotus Root Salad with Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms
- Vegan Soba Noodle Salad with Yuzu Dressing
- Fennel and Courgette Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts
Easy Salad Dressing Recipes:
Blistered Tomato and Basil Salad with Israeli Couscous
- In a small saucepan, bring 1 ½ cup of vegetable broth to the boil. Add ½ cup of uncooked Israeli couscous and bring it down to a low heat and cook for 10 minutes or until al dente.
- While couscous is cooking, peel the avocado and cut ½ the avocado into small cubes. Place in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- When couscous is cooked, drain in a colander and run under cold water for a couple of brief seconds and then place in the mixing bowl with the avocado. Gently fold the warm couscous through the avocado to give it a creamy texture.
- In a small mixing bowl, add 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and cherry tomatoes. Coat them thoroughly. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to a large fry pan on medium heat. When hot, add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Toss occasionally. Remove from the heat.
- Roughly chop the coriander to yield ½ cup. Have some extra for garnish.
- Pick the basil leaves whole to yield ½ cup.
- Add the coriander, basil leaves, juice of ¼ lemon into the mixing bowl of avocado and Israeli couscous. Season with salt and pepper.
- On a platter, place the salad in a heap.
- Gently place the balsamic blistered tomatoes on top.
- Garnish with some coriander.
- Season with pepper and serve.
- You can use any type of cherry tomatoes. Go for some colour to give the salad a lift. You can also use small vine-ripened tomatoes or kumato tomatoes.
- Blistered tomatoes are generally quite sweet so you can omit the balsamic vinegar if you want something even healthier.
- If you are not vegetarian, you can certainly use chicken stock for cooking the Israeli couscous.
- For a really healthy option, you can make the broth yourself. Otherwise, the vegan organic reduced salt liquid stock is more than good enough.
- If you're taking this salad to a friend's place to eat later, pack the couscous mixed salad seperate to the blistered tomatoes. Before serving, run 1 tsp of olive oil through the couscous as it can dry out a little bit. Will give it the glistening look it needs.