Israeli couscous stands in for pasta in this lighter version of a classic summer salad.
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, toast couscous in a small saute pan over medium heat, moving pan in a circular motion, until evenly browned, about 7 minutes. Immediately add couscous to boiling water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water until cool.
Place couscous, tomatoes, basil, shallots, vinegar, oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the pepper in a large bowl. Mix well, and let stand at room temperature until ready to serve, at least 15 minutes (or up to 1 hour). Stir well, and garnish with basil.
Israeli, or pearl, couscous tastes like a light version of pasta. The tiny tan orbs take slightly longer to cook than traditional couscous and are available at most major supermarkets.