A vegetarian’s delight: a couscous salad with sharp, fresh flavours that’s satisfying enough to be eaten as a meal on it’s own. For those who love their protein, it’s great as a side with grilled meat or fish.
It’s amazing how filling couscous, which are essentially tiny grains made from crushed wheat, can be.
What we buy in Western supermarkets is the instant version; so all that you need to do is soak the couscous in boiled water for 5 mins and then fluff it up using a fork. It’s faster and easier to prepare than either rice or pasta. Good idea for a mid week meal?
Taste-wise, couscous is very mild, making it a wonderful canvas to which you can add any flavour you like: sweet, spicy tangy, salty or zesty.
For this salad, l’ve chosen strong, sharp flavours. I’ve added some of my favourite ingredients that l use frequently in my cooking; olives, fetta and tomatoes.
But my stand out ingredient is the cornichons or baby cucumbers that have been pickled in vinegar.
The brand l buy also contains baby chillies which gives the cornichons a spicy edge.
It’s a shame not to use some of the liquid in the jar, especially since it’s been flavoured with chilli.
l either drizzle some of it over the salad or include about a tbsp in the dressing.
I decided to post a salad as it seemed that summer had made an early start. Now, it’s freezing again!!
Maybe l’ll post a soup next time and hope warmer weather returns (not sure mother nature works that way!)
Preparation Time: 15-20 mins Serves: 4-6
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 cup boiled water
- 1 tsp chicken stock powder (substitute with vegetable stock powder)
- 1 medium red/Spanish onion, chopped
- 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper, chopped
- 15 Kalamata olives, seeded and chopped
- 20 cornichons, chopped (pickled baby cucumbers) (note 1)
- 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 60 g/2 oz rocket leaves/arugula cut in half
- 50 g/1.5 oz fetta cheese (or as much as you like)
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Optional: 1-2 tbsp of the cornichon liquid
- Place the couscous and stock powder in a large bowl. Pour over the boiled water. Cover with cling wrap. Allow to stand for 5 mins. Uncover and fluff up with a fork. Allow to cool for 10 mins.
- Add the onion, olives, capsicum, cornichons, cherry tomatoes and rocket leaves.
- Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the the salad. Stir through well.
- Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle the fetta cheese on top. Done!
- The jars of cornichons that l buy are pickled in vinegar with a red chilli for a little heat. Add a tbsp or so of the liquid from the jar to the dressing for extra flavour or just drizzle some over the salad at the end.