This couscous salad has become a staple summer recipe in my repertoire. It’s quick and simple to rustle-up, but most importantly tastes delicious! We tend to eat this as a meal on its own, but it can easily be served as a side dish with a main meal. Like pasta, couscous is extremely bland, so you need to add in lots of flavours to make it tasty. This salad is delicious either warm or cold, and is great to take on picnics! If you don’t want to have this as a main meal, it can accompany pretty much anything from lamb chops, roast chicken or a lovely steamed piece of salmon. This dish is really quite versatile. Oh, and did I mention moreish?
Serves 4 as a main meal
- 400g of couscous
- 50g of butter
- 425ml of chicken or vegetable stock (I prefer chicken)
- 2 red peppers, de-seeded and chopped into small squares
- 2 yellow peppers, de-seeded and chopped into small squares
- 300g of feta cheese, cut into small cubes
- 100g of toasted pinenuts
- Handful of chopped mint
- Handful of chopped parsley
- Olive oil
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Salt & pepper to season
- Put the chopped red and yellow peppers in a roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Toss the peppers around to ensure the peppers are pretty evenly coated in the oil and salt, and pop in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Make-up your stock.
- Melt 30g of the butter (I prefer to use salted for this recipe), in a heavy-based pan that has a lid. Once the butter is melted, add the couscous and gently coat all the grains with the butter, frying it for around 3 to 4 minutes. Do not stop stirring!
- Pour over the hot stock, stirring constantly. When you pour the stock in, it will bubble up quite ferociously and create a lot of steam, so be careful. Turn the heat down to it’s lowest point and gently stir until all the stock is absorbed.
- Once the stock has been absorbed, turn the heat off, put the lid on the pan and let the grains steam for around 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, take the lid off the pan, add the remaining 20g of butter, and fork through the couscous, separating the grains to ensure that there aren’t any clumps and that it’s light and fluffy.
- Add in the roasted peppers, cubed feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, chopped mint and parsley and gently combine with the couscous. Have a quick taste to see if it needs any seasoning.
- If you can’t find feta cheese, then a soft goats cheese is a great alternative.
- If you want a stronger herb flavour, you can substitute the mint and parsley for basil.
- For even fluffier couscous, you can make it the traditional way by soaking and steaming it. Although, the method above creates pretty fluffy couscous in my opinion!
- An alternative way to cook the couscous, is to put the couscous into a bowl, pour over the hot stock, cover with cling-film and stand for around 8 minutes.
- Bangaloreans, you can find couscous in the deli at Toscanos, the Supermarket on Brigade Road and sometimes in the Waitrose section of Hypercity.