Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Great "Go To" Summer Salad- Moroccan Couscous

This is another quick and easy salad, perfect for the summer.  It's light and full of great flavours and, guess what?  There isn't really a recipe.

Your biggest decision is the flavour profile- what do you want it to taste like... This recipe is based on Moroccan flavours: cinnamon, lemon, honey, almonds...  Remember, the quantities below are approximate and feel free to substitute...If you're thinking Mediterranean, then your flavours would likely be: kalamata olives, roasted peppers, dried (or fresh) tomatoes, cukes,...

This recipe will serve 4-6 guests.

1     cup couscous
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1/2  cup dried apricots, finely chopped
1/4  cup raisins
1/4  cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2  cup green onions, finely chopped
1/2  cup sweet red pepper, finely diced
1/2  cup celery, finely diced
1/4  cup Kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
1/4  cup cucumber, finely diced
2     tbsp honey
1     tsp ground cinnamon
3     tbsp lemon juice
2     tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3     tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the water to a boil then remove from the stove and immediately add the couscous.  Cover and let stand until all the water is absorbed, approximately 7 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and add all of the vegetables, olives and dried fruit.  Stir in the honey and cinnamon, then the lemon juice, vinegar and oil.  Taste the salad and adjust the seasonings: do you want it sweeter?  More cinnamon?  More salt and/or pepper?

Change up the vegetables: use red onions instead of green, different coloured sweet peppers.  Change the vinegars by using white wine vinegar instead of balsamic.  Emphasize the lemon flavours by adding lemon zest.  You could add cumin along with the cinnamon (or instead of the cinnamon).  Make it spicy with harrira or red pepper flakes.

New flavour profiles:
Mediterranean: see above
Greek: Kalamata olives, onions, cukes, tomatoes, oregano, lemon, feta cheese...
You get the idea... :-)


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