Tuesday, July 13, 2010

summertime, and the living is easy...

Couscous makes hot weather cooking a breeze...
It certainly would be nice to be able to pick up take-out every night during a hot spell, but who can afford that for long? Sure, you can roll out the grill again. And again. And again. But sometimes you just want something fast, simple and fresh. This is when I turn to couscous.
Couscous is basically a North African semolina pasta rolled into small grains. There are many quick-cooking varieties to be found, most taking only five minutes to prepare. You can purchase couscous mixes already seasoned or flavored, but these tend to be a bit pricey. It's just as easy, less expensive, and healthier to create a delicious hot or cold couscous dish with simple ingredients found in your own pantry.
For this Mediterranean-inspired couscous salad that I created, I started out with beautiful RiceSelect tri-color couscous made with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Bonus: RiceSelect products are packaged in BPA-free jars.

Following package directions, prepare couscous to equal two cups when finished. RiceSelect directions are: bring one cup of water to boil (you can also use broth) and add one cup of dry couscous. Remove from heat, cover with lid and wait for five minutes. Fluff with a fork.

For my Mediterranean-Inspired Couscous, add the following ingredients to your two cups of prepared couscous:
  • One 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • One 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained (or fresh if your garden is overflowing with tomato goodness!)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano (we grew Greek oregano this year and it's what I used for this recipe)
  • Juice of one large lemon
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil (olive or safflower are good)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

And that's all folks! Combine all ingredients thoroughly and allow time to chill in the refrigerator. This makes a terrific vegetarian/vegan dish, but if you like, a bit of chicken, grilled tuna or feta cheese could be added; add lemon zest if you like even more lemony flavor; or try with green onions instead of the sweeter red onions.


Shrimp Salad Circus said...

This looks so delicious! I had couscous with dinner last night, actually, but it was just with olive oil and a bit of seasoning because I was being lazy, so I'll have to try this!

- Lindsay

Lonesome Road Studio said...

It's really adaptable too. Great for summer meals, I love couscous!


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