For people who care about their food

Couscous Salad

A bowl of couscous saladA couscous salad is a quick and tasty vegetarian snack or a nice addition to a tapas selection. In addition to the couscous, you can add things like chickpeas, spring onions, tomatoes, capsicum peppers, herbs, dried fruit. Here’s my version.

Ingredients

(Serves 4 as a tapa dish)

  • 175 g (6oz) couscous
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)
  • 300 ml (½ pt) hot vegetable stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • a handful of sultanas
  • a handful of parsley, chopped

For the dressing, a couple of tablespoons of vinaigrette and (optional) a couple of tablespoons of plain yoghurt. You might also want to season it with salt and pepper if you haven’t already got salt and pepper in the vinaigrette.

Method

First make the couscous. Place it in a heatproof bowl and add the veg stock. Set aside for about 10 minutes until the water has been absorbed. (You can add butter at this stage if you like to give the couscous a lovely buttery taste.)

Next, start “roasting” the red pepper. Basically you want to blacken the skin so it peels off easily. You can blacken the skin in the oven or under a hot grill. When the skin has blackened, let the pepper cool a little so you don’t burn your fingers, and then the skin should peel off easily. I’ve never found the need for faffing about with plastic bags like most recipes suggest. Slice or dice the pepper.

Wash and chop all the veg and herbs.

Open the tin of chickpeas, and drain.

Now go back to the couscous, fluff it up a bit with a fork to separate the grains. Add the chickpeas, the chopped veg, sultanas and herbs. Mix them in with the fork.

Add the dressing – vinaigrette and yoghurt (if wanted) – and mix in. Taste and season with salt and pepper as required.

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