Well, while I have been cooking for many years now, I am quite ashamed to say that I had never made a dish with this incredibly resourceful grain. Couscous is a traditional food from the Maghreb region, made with hard grain semolina.
You can add absolutely anything to couscous, from fish and seafood to meat, chicken, lamb and vegetables. The salad I bring you in this recipe has vegetable elements that make it healthy and others that give it a crunchy point, such as cashews. This salad is ideal to take to work, as it keeps very well and can be a first course. And you can even take it with you if you have a picnic or a meal in the country. Yup, that's versatile alright.
Note: This is a recipe with which I made a slight alteration. It is a bulgar and nut pilaf recipe but I couldn't find bulgar at the supermarket. For reference though, if using bulgar then make sure that you buy the easy-cook type and not cracked wheat, as it takes more time to cook.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 small green pepper, seeded and chopped
125g canned or cooked red kidney beans
50g cashew nuts, roasted under the grill
ground black pepper
200ml vegetable stock
salt and freshly
1. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Tip the couscous into a heatproof bowl and pour over the stock.
Cover with cling film or a lid and leave for 5-10 mins until the couscous is soft.
2. Fry the onion in the oil for 2-3 minutes. Add the green pepper and cook for another two minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Stir and cover.
4. Fluff the couscous up with a fork, drizzling with some extra virgin olive oil. Add and season with salt and pepper if you like and stir in the warm vegetables.