The beauty of this couscous is that it can be served warm, room temperature or chilled. For an extra kick, sprinkle the tomatoes with Aleppo pepper flakes or similar mild chili flake when they come out of the oven. Serves 6 to 8
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Pour enough olive oil on a half sheet pan to heavily coat the bottom. Add cherry tomatoes cut side up.
3. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and grind pepper lightly over the top. Top the tomatoes with the sliced garlic and then lay the thyme sprigs over the top. The garlic and the thyme to not have to evenly cover all the tomatoes.
4. Place the tomatoes in the preheated oven and roast until the tomatoes are puckered and browned. You may half to move the outside tomatoes to the inside if they brown faster than the center tomatoes and vice versa. Redistribute the tomatoes and continue roasting.
5. When the tomatoes are roasted, discard the bare thyme stems and remove the tomatoes from the pan to a bowl, scrape the olive oil over the top and store at room temperature for up to 3 hours. May be done a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring up to room temperature before using.
6. Cut shallots in half and slice thinly. Place in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then the shallots. Saute until the shallots are golden.
7. Add the couscous and stir continually to lightly toast the grains, about 2 minutes.
8. Add 4¼ cups water and bring to a boil. Simmer half-covered with a lid until the water is absorbed, about 8-10 minutes. Place the lid on the pot tightly. Remove the pot from the heat and let the couscous sit covered for 10 minutes.
9. Turn the couscous out into a large bowl and add the tomatoes with their olive oil, chopped olives and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Toss and taste for seasoning. Add more lemon juice to taste.
10. Fold in the parsley and the mint and serve warm, room-temperature or chilled.