Thursday, April 05, 2007

Moroccan Couscous Salad

I should probably leave the poor Moroccans out of this, because even if they inspired the idea, I don't think they'd recognise what I had for dinner last night. This is a favourite get-dinner-on-the-table-in-30-minutes-or-less dinner. With several yummy variations. I am a big fan of any recipe that only requires throwing stuff in the frying pan.
Moroccan Couscous Salad
Turn on the oven to 200 degrees C. Peel and chop a sweet potato, toss with some olive oil on a baking tray, and throw in the oven (you can add a quartered onion, or some garlic cloves if you want). Chop up all unloved veggies from the bottom of the crisper. In my case 5 mushrooms, 1 red onion, two handfuls of green beans and a sad looking roma tomato. Throw the vegetables into a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil, and cook until slightly softened.
Now comes the fun part - add half a cup of dry couscous to the pan, with a can of drained chickpeas - then pour in some water - watch it sizzle! I think about twice as much water as cous cous. Now is a good time to add some flavour - I chose a tablespoon of tomato paste, a teaspoon of vegetarian stock powder, some chilli flakes and some ground cumin. For a more 'moroccan' flavour (and I really do use the term lightly), you could add a touch of cinnamon and a tablespoon of sultanas.
When the water is absorbed, taste the couscous and see if you need to season it. Then stir in the sweet potato (which should have been roasting for around half an hour, and be nicely cooked). Eat quickly.
Everything in this recipe (except the couscous and chickpeas) is completely optional. The sweet potato could be replaced by any cooked protein of your choice (chicken is nice). Or you could throw some salami or chorizo sausage in the pan with the onion at the beginning. This can also be very Italian, with a lot of tomatoes, some fresh basil and rocket stirred through at the end. This batch was gone too quick to take a photo - but here's a photo from one I prepared earlier...

No comments: