Sunday, 29 September 2013

Couscous Creation

We have had an amazing summer here in England.  I could probably count on one hand how many times it rained.  Best summer since moving here 7 years ago!  Can't say I spent it on the beach sunning myself or throwing backyard barbeques but I got a heck of a lot of laundry done.  We don't have a dryer so being able to rely on the sunshine this summer was great.  Sad, I know.  I'm blaming the gorgeous weather on why I haven't blogged in a while and of course, the obsessive need to get my laundry done before the next few years of rain set in.

I made a few dishes over the summer months that I obviously didn't share but since this week has been unseasonably warm (let's face it, the summer was unseasonably warm) I thought I'd share a couscous salad that was lovely and light for summer but also a good filling dish for winter and can be served warm too.

The hubs and I went to Tunisia a couple of years ago to get a bit (ok, a lot!) of sun and I loved all of the various couscous dishes we tried.  The other half hates couscous (he suffered a little on the food side of the trip) so I don't often make it.  So when he was away, I took the opportunity to make this salad:

I also made this version a few weeks later:

It's something you can just throw together with ingredients you have on hand.  I had leftover roast chicken, dried apricots, raisins and goat's cheese on hand, so it's what I used to mix up this delicious lunch.  Lasts quite a few days in the fridge so you could made this on a Sunday night and have lunch for the week.  Serve it with hummus for some extra flavour and protein.

The butternut squash, cranberries and goat's cheese couscous salad recipe can be found here at theKitchn.  I didn't use orange zest and substituted white wine vinegar for cider vinegar and all turned out well.  I also added chopped fresh basil.

Below you'll find the recipe for my chicken, apricot and raisin version.  Don't have leftover chicken?  I'd serve the couscous warm with all of the other ingredients along with cooked chicken legs. Yum.

Couscous Salad

1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup apricots, chopped
1 cup water
1 cup uncooked couscous
4-5 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoons salt
1 can chickpeas, drained
3 oz goat cheese

fresh basil and parsley, roughly chopped or torn

Cover the raisins and apricot with very hot water and set them aside to plump. Drain before combining with the other ingredients.
Place 1 cup of couscous in a bowl. Boil 1 cup of water in the kettle and pour over the couscous, gently stirring. Cover and let sit for about 10-15 minutes until the couscous has absorbed all the water. Fluff the couscous with a fork and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, spices, salt.
In a large bowl, combine chicken, couscous, chickpeas, and drained raisins and apricots and fresh herbs. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Crumble the goat cheese into chunks with your fingers and gently fold them into the salad. Season with salt if needed.

No comments:

Post a Comment