So, my first food post has gotten off to a slightly disappointing start. I wanted to begin with something Spanishy but somehow have fallen short of Spain and landed in North Africa. Oh well, it’s close enough. And secondly, my photos taken with my crappy camera – if I can call my tablet a camera, only show the first half of the recipe! I will explain.
At the least the produce (most of it) is fresh and Spanish, including local courgettes and carrots and homegrown coriander. Last year, I could proudly have said that all the vegetables were grown in our garden, but we put all of our efforts into growing a baby instead and so sacrificed our vegetables. But this winter now that we are slowly getting some normality back into our lives, we’ve put the veg patch back on the agenda. So next year, I will be looking forward to posting recipes made with out own produce and taking photos with a nice new flashy camera. Couscous is so easy, so versatile and tastes fab hot or cold, leaving few reasons why I can’t avoid making it as often as possible. This summery shimmery couscous salad was literally thrown together using the few vegetables that were left in the fridge. I am quite a chuck-things-in-the-pot kind of a cook, with most of my meals being made visually and orally rather than by weighing and measuring, so I’ll apologise now, if this does not turn out as good for you as it did for me! To serve three of us (sorry we were an odd number that day!), I put all of these ingredients into a large salad bowl;
- 3 large carrots, grated
- 1 large, finely chopped red pepper, yellow would be great too for its sweetness and colour,
- 1 medium sized, finely diced, red onion (colour obsession!)
- 1 medium grated courgette
- A handful or two (I think I put three) of sultanas or raisins
- A couple of sprinkles of sesame seeds
- Coriander, broken by hand and chucked over the top.
I then drizzled some olive oil, a teeny weeny bit of honey ( not too much otherwise it gets too sticky) and seasoned with ground pepper. I don’t know about you but I make my couscous like this; In a saucepan, I add about a tablespoon of olive oil and heat it a little. I then add about 250-300 grams of couscous and spoon it about so that it is coated in the olive oil as much as possible. I removed the pan from the heat and add some water. Again, I do this by sight, so if you don’t know how to make couscous I would follow the instructions on the packet and not mine rather rudimentary ones! I give it a good stir to mix the water in and leave the saucepan covered for about 5 minutes. I then check the consistency of the couscous. It should be light and fluffy on the tongue. If it’s still hard you need to add some more hot water, bit by bit rather than too much at once.
Once the couscous is to your satisfaction, leave to cool a little (I quite like mine lukewarm but this dish can be chilled) and then add to the vegetable mix and give it all a good stir so that all those wonderful colours are beautifully distributed. The great thing about this dish is that if you feel you have not put enough of something in ie your courgettes could have more presence, then you can just add more. I served this with some Greek style yoghurt to which I added, chopped garlic and cucumber, mint, parsley, black pepper and a drop of honey. Yum yum in my tum.
And now for me to explain why I don’t have a photo of the finished article. The only thing I can say is that it looked so damn good, as did the Rosé that we had poured ourselves that we tucked in straightaway and only ten to fifteen mouthfuls later did I realise I’d not taken the money shot!
Disastrous start to my first food post? Maybe. Delicious, quick and easy couscous salad? Definitely.