Saturday, October 22, 2011

Couscous Salad

Today was my hiking group's annual party. It's an all day event starting with an early morning hike followed by a potluck BBQ lunch session, games and catching up in the Stevens Creek County Park area in Cupertino. I decided to make a couscous salad, never worked with the fine grain couscous but couscous is very easy to cook and the salad was light and tasted great! I also baked a batch of my tried and tested Apricot Shortbread Cookies to go along.

just trying some different lighting! :)

I came across a salad recipe with persimmon but unfortunately I couldn't find persimmon in the stores so decided to skip and make my own combination of ingredients. So, here goes the recipe:

Couscous - 2 boxes of the Near East brand (this is the only brand/quantity I found in most stores). I used the "Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil" flavor
Canned garbanzos - 1/4 cup
Red peppers - 1/4 of a big pepper, finely chopped
Red onion - 1/2 of a medium, finely chopped
Canned baby corn - 10, sliced
Tofu - 1/4 of an 'extra firm' block, cut into mini cubes
Fresh thyme leaves - 3-4 sprigs
Fresh cilantro and fresh mint leaves - small bunch, finely chopped

Lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

Cook the couscous exactly as per instructions on the box, two boxes will easily serve a group of 20, it's a salad and this is assuming there are other items being served as well :) For 5.8oz of couscous, heat 1 1/4 cup of water in a pan, add some EVOO and bring it to a boil. Now, add the couscous, cover and take the pan off heat. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then open and fluff up the couscous. Once the couscous has cooled down a bit, add all the ingredients and half the quantity of the thyme, mint and cilantro. If possible, use a serving fork to mix in your ingredients.

Make the dressing as per your taste and mix it in. I used a jalapeno flavored olive oil and did a 2:1 of oil:lemon juice and later on added some more oil so my salad wouldn't taste too dry. Once you've mixed in everything transfer it to your serving bowl and sprinkle the other 1/2 of the thyme/mint/cilantro over!

my favorite shortbread cookie!

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