Warm Couscous and Courgette Salad

Couscous Salad (6964)

I have spent my morning and afternoon roaming around Guildford, taking in the place. I walked around the centre, recorded some sights, bought myself a healthy lunch and made my way up to the Castle. I took my small camera with me to take a few video snippets. I’m trying to teach myself how to vlog. I shouldn’t have said that. My SLR didn’t come with me today. I really wasn’t in the mood to carry heavy stuff in my backpack anyway. These days I have given up on handbags: nothing fits in them anymore. They are currently also packed in a plastic box ready to be shipped. (People, if you’re not into nostalgia, then please just skip this part. Thankfully there’s a recipe in here somewhere!) I was prepared to walk into town, knowing that I would enjoy the stroll. I arrived there around 9 am, feeling sticky to the core, because with Ellie Goulding singing in my ear for the last ten minutes or so, I almost ran the last leg. I should have listened to Clannad instead. Weather like this, (I’m subconsciously bracing myself for Malta here) is good for sipping a cold drink under an umbrella, with some food, of course.

I cannot remember for the life of me when I made this simple meal. What I know for sure is that I was hungry. Perhaps I was even running out of time, or made this for a late lunch. It’s quick, with a little prep and one of my go-to suppers. You could substitute the couscous with quinoa, which I sometimes do. It will take a little more time to cook but that’s really it. You could change things round to suit you, because this is only a guide. My neighbour loves roasted peppers, which would be so juicy and delicious here. Love it.

  • 125g couscous
  • 150ml boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon regular olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon sumac*
  • 1 large courgette, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 large chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • juice of half a lemon**
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, optional

Put the dried couscous and boiling water into a bowl and cover with cling film. You can also use the same amount of vegetable stock here, but water will do fine.

Place a shallow pan on medium heat and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, dried chilli flakes, sumac* (or the equivalent amount of garam masala or mixed spice) and the chopped courgette to the pan. Gently stir and fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the chopped mushrooms, salt, pepper, lemon juice and a thick wedge or two of the lemon itself, like I did. The lemon juice will compliment the taste of the sumac, giving some needed acidity to the mixture.** Also it will help deglaze the bottom of the pan.

Courgette mixture for Couscous Salad (6962)

When the courgette is soft but still has a slight bite to it, remove the mixture from the heat. Fluff up the couscous with a fork, and add to it the cooked veggies.

Serve immediately, with an egg if you like. A very light lunch for 2, or a substantial portion for 1 person (a.k.a. the cook), with seconds or leftovers.

Rob.

One year ago: A Simple Greek Salad

Two years ago: Grilled Salmon with Tarragon

Three years ago: Pizza and Focaccia

 

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