Monday, 26 March 2012

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

I just recently had my first couscous salad and, oh it was amazing. Couscous are small particles of semolina, like a tiny pasta. I've never been keen to try it since it seemed like something that would be bland, flavourless, uninteresting.... But when it's made with chicken broth and cheese, it can be so good.

The one I had was a Greek couscous salad. The feta made a huge difference and provided the most flavour. I couldn't find feta at my school grocery store (and was too lazy to go to the neighbourhood grocery) so I had to settle for Parmesan and call it a Mediterranean salad.

There are many couscous recipes out there and a some call for summer squash as the vegetables. I personally don't like to use vegetables that need to be cooked because it takes away from the speediness of the dish. All you need for this recipe is a kettle, a knife and a cutting board. The best water-pasta ration for me is 1:1; easy to remember and provides the best texture.

1 1/2 cup couscous
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1tbsp chicken broth powder
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 dry pint of grape tomatoes
4 green onions
1/3 cup pitted, sliced olives
1/2 cucumber
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*don't be scared by the ingredient list...the recipe's not hard!

Toss the Couscous in oil and spices until well coated and resembles wet sand. Dissolve the chicken broth powder in boiling water, pour into the couscous and immediately cover. Let it stand for 5 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

Prepare the vegetables by cutting them into similar sizes. Quarter dice the cucumber. Halve the tomatoes. Finely dice the green onions.

Add in half of the Parmesan cheese and mix well

Toss in the vegetables and the rest of Parmesan to taste.

Serve as a main dish or a side. If you have feta, please use that instead. I think it would have made for a much better dish, although this was quite amazing already. Definitely adding couscous to my pantry basics from now on.

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