Cherry Tomatoes and Grilled Artichokes over Couscous

A quick meal that is filled with flavor and nutrition!

 I love sauces made from cherry tomatoes. They are easy to make, sweet and delicious, and taste quite a bit different than their larger cousins. When shopping this week, I found some beautiful yellow and red cherry tomatoes, stems and all, and they just begged to be quickly grilled and added to a dish. 

            What better than a quick sauce made with a pint of red tomatoes, sweet red pepper, and lots of aromatics and spices. A can of artichoke hearts from the pantry rounded things out.

            I had whole-wheat large couscous in stock, so I decided that would serve as the base. This would be delicious on any type of favorite pasta, or even rice or other grains.

            I don’t buy pine nuts from China (contamination and labor problems) and always look at the label. The ones that I buy are from Italy, but there are other sources other than China. Or, just use another nut such as walnuts, or substitute with toasted bread crumbs. In the late summer, you can use fresh artichokes, of course!

If you have a pint of cherry tomatoes tucked in the freezer from last year’s garden, they will work here nicely for the sauce!

Cherry Tomatoes and Grilled Artichokes over Couscous

Served on a bed of couscous and a few greens, this dish is quick to make and nutritious.
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, halved
  • 2 or 3 stems cherry tomatoes, intact
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Large pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halve some of them
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts

Brush a grill pan with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Brush the cherry tomatoes as well, sprinkle with salt, and grill them quickly, on the stem, turning once. Remove from the pan and cover to keep warm. Pat the artichoke hearts dry, brush with a little more olive oil, and season with salt. Grill these as well, then set aside with the cherries. 

Heat about 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and let cook for about 30 seconds, then add the pepper flakes and paprika, and stir for another minute. Season with salt and pepper, add the wine and saffron, scraping up any glaze on the bottom of the pan. Add the pint of cherry tomatoes and continue cooking until the majority of the tomatoes burst. Taste for seasoning.

Plate on a bed of whole wheat couscous, brown rice, or noodles of choice. Top with the grilled artichokes and stem-on tomatoes, drizzle with the lemon juice, a bit more olive oil, and top with the toasted pine nuts.

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  1. chef mimi says:

    This is really lovely! What’s wrong with pine nuts outside of China? I used to buy them locally in Utah.

    1. Thank you Mimi! Perhaps I worded that poorly; I don’t recommend pine nuts from China because of contamination problems. I try not to eat any foods from China for that matter. The ones I usually buy are from Italy.

  2. Ally Bean says:

    I didn’t know pine nuts could come from China. The ones I’ve bought were from Italy. You’re a wealth of information.

    1. Most common items from China are garlic (always ask the source, it’s pretty common) both fresh, and a good deal of the peeled and processed garlic in jars of oil. Also, many dried mushrooms, and the pine nuts.

  3. Such a tasty and colorful mix!
    I make my go-to pizza sauce with cherry tomatoes, rather than the big ones, as they do indeed have different flavor, which I prefer.
    With you on pine nuts from China – both for the reasons you’ve mentioned, and also because the Italian ones taste so much better. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I totally agree that the Italian ones taste better, and I should have mentioned that! They are more buttery, with a lovely flavor!

      1. It’s definitely noticeable. 🙂

  4. Tomatoes and artichokes taste wonderful together. It works! 🍃🍅

    1. Thanks Gail. It’s one of my favorite combos!

  5. This looks and sounds delicious Dorothy! I’m pinning this to my Healthy Recipes board so I can have it handy to put on my meal plan for next week. Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Thank you Terri! So pleased that you are saving this, and I’m sure it will become an easy favorite!

  6. bernlag says:

    Fantastic combination of flavors. I will be making.

    1. Thank you! I love these quick but delicious combinations!

  7. Yum!! I was just wondering what to make for dinner tonight, so your post came at exactly the right moment since I have all the ingredients. I too avoid food items from China for contamination and labor issues. Pine nuts are a favorite here and the Italian ones are definitely tastier! Thanks for another tasty dinner inspiration, Dorothy!

    1. You are welcome! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  8. Interesting about the pine nuts, I will start checking their source! I love roasted cherry tomatoes, but do you really eat the stems? I forget about couscous, I need to cook with that more often, thanks Dorothy.

    1. I do not eat the stems, these were just for presentation. They do not taste good! I grew up believing the leaves and stems were poisonous, and apparently that is not true. If eaten in excess, they can make you sick, but I doubt anyone would want to eat either the stems or leaves in excess!

      1. Ok, I am relieved! They do look great in presentation, but I had to ask 😂

  9. Carol Taylor says:

    A delicous combo I love cherry tomatoes…like you I avoid foods from China although I have read a lot about how they are cleaning up their act time will tell 🙂

    1. One of our favorite combinations too! The cherry tomatoes are usually so fresh and vibrant!

  10. Your recipes always make me hungry. as always this looks so yummy.

    1. Thank you so much! This one is as delicious as it is easy!

  11. What a wonderful combination!!! I can’t wait until my garden cherry tomatoes are ripe in August’s to try this! I can’t stand the store bought ones.

    1. I’ve been garden dreaming this week! I always plant a couple cherry tomato plants and they keep me happy all season!

  12. Its a lovely lovely plate. yum

    1. Thank you! Really tasty, too!

  13. Pattie says:

    I have yet to even plant my garden, but I know that I’m going to have a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes because I always do. As a consequence, I’ve been searching for new ways in which to use them. This looks delicious! Thank you so much.

    1. You’re welcome! I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!

  14. If I were to grow tomatoes again, I’d probably only choose cherry tomatoes. The are usually sweet and delicious. Your recipe had to be yummy.

    1. I heartily agree. Because we have so many wonderful heirloom varieties available at our farm stands, I plan to grow two varieties of cherries and one Amish paste tomato in my garden this year, and let the local farmers do the rest!

  15. Looks & sounds fabulous, Dorothy! 🌞

  16. a very useful post. thanks

    1. You are very welome!

    2. You are very welcome!

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