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Archive for the ‘Couscous’ Category

My friend H told me last week that one of the most annoying thing about trying out new recipes is that quite often she’s not sure what else she could do with the ingredients that will inevitably be left over, after having to buy a whole pumpkin for example but the recipe only calls for half. So I’m going to try from now on to keep this in mind and where I can (read ‘have time!’) I will suggest a couple of other easy things you can do to use up leftover ingredients. This I hope will make shopping easier and less wasteful and planning what to eat more enjoyable!

To get the ball rolling, I thought I’d add another courgette recipe to follow on from the Courgette Ribbons I posted previously. This recipe is a bit of a mash-up of two very tasty warm salads from Yotam Ottolengi’s latest cookbook Plenty (thank you Kirsty W – I use this all the time!).

 I’ve called it Warm Courgette & Couscous Salad and while it proved to be a very tasty and healthy option for dinner (especially with some grilled lamb, chicken or fish), it would also make a great lunch or side salad.

Warm Courgette & Couscous Salad
Warm Courgette Couscous Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients (for 2):
– sunflower oil (olive oil is fine but if you have a lighter tasting oil like vegetable or rapeseed that’s a better option)
– 1 medium courgette, sliced
– 1 tablespoon red wine or balsamic vinegar
– 1 cup frozen peas
– handful roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
– handful roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves
– 30ml olive oil
– half a cup of couscous
– boiling water
– couple of handfuls of rocket or watercress leaves
– 1 tablespoon capers
– grated zest of half a lemon (keep the lemon in case the juice is required to balance the seasoning at the end)
– 100g feta cheese
– sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a medium fry pan and fry the courgette slices for a couple of minutes until they’ve browned nicely then turn over and fry until golden brown on the other side (only turn once). Don’t crowd the pan as the courgettes will stew rather than fry, which you don’t want so do them in batches if need be. Remove from the pan and place in a bowl. Pour the vinegar over the courgettes and set aside.

Boil your jug for the couscous and the peas. Place the couscous in a heat proof bowl, pour the boiling water over until the couscous is just covered, give a quick stir with a fork then cover with cling film and leave for 10 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.

In another heat proof bowl, place the frozen peas and pour boiling water over these too until they’re covered. Leave to blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and refresh by running under cold water for 10 seconds. Set aside to dry.

In a blender or food processor, pulse the basil, parsley, salt and pepper and oil until you’ve got a smooth paste. Add more oil if necessary.

Once the couscous is ready, give it a good fluff up with a fork and place in a serving bowl big enough to hold all of the ingredients. Add the peas, courgettes and vinegar, the basil and parsley paste, capers, lemon zest, feta and rocket or watercress leaves. Mix everything together gently, taste and season with salt and pepper. Taste again and add a squeeze of lemon juice if you feel it needs a bit more acidity. Fresh, light and very healthy!

You can of course substitute the peas for broad beans or edamame (soya beans). The feta can be replaced by goats cheese for a milder taste or leave out altogether if you’d prefer.

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