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Green Basil Couscous, from Garden Grown.

Featured Article

Freshly Picked

A new cookbook from Westport-based blogger Julia Dzafic makes the most of your backyard harvest.

Article by Sara Gaynes Levy

Photography by Julia D'Agostino

Originally published in Westport Lifestyle

Westport's own Julia Dzafic, whom you may know as Lemon Stripes, launched her blog in 2010 to share about her life—everything from cooking and wellness to, more recently, motherhood and home decor. But it was her husband Anel who inspired her first cookbook, Garden Grown: Garden-to-Table Recipes to Make the Most of Your Bounty, available May 7 wherever books are sold. "He's an avid gardener, and I always try to include what he is growing in my cooking," Julia says. Thus, Garden Grown is organized to help you do the same: whether you're harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, or basil, just flip to the chapter for that ingredient and you'll find recipes to help you make something delicious with it. And nothing tastes better than a dish with a home-grown element! Here, Julia shares with Westport Lifestyle her Green Basil Couscous from the book—a light, bright side that's great for chicken or fish, and perfect for spring herb bounties.

Green Basil Couscous

1⁄2 c. veggie broth or water 

1⁄2 c. couscous 

2 c. frozen peas 

1 c. crumbled feta or goat cheese

1⁄2 c. chopped walnuts 

1⁄2 c. chopped parsley 

¼ c. chopped basil 

¼ c. chopped mint 


1⁄2 c. olive oil 

1 c. basil leaves 

1 small shallot, peeled 

Juice of 1⁄2 lemon 

3 T. white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar 

1 T. honey 

1 garlic clove 

Sea salt and black pepper


In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the couscous, cover, and let sit for  10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside. 

Boil a small pot of water and blanch the peas until they turn bright green, two minutes. Drain the peas and set aside. 

Make the dressing: Blend the olive oil, basil, shallot, lemon juice,  vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor. Taste and add more of whatever flavors you want.

In a large bowl, place the couscous, peas, feta, walnuts, parsley,  basil, and mint, and toss in the dressing. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm or cold. 

  • Green Basil Couscous, from Garden Grown.
  • Julia Dzafic, at home in Westport.