Moroccan Jeweled Couscous Salad
After 12 years of suffering through Israeli summers, I've come up with my own 'patent' to prevent hysteria setting in, and so far it seems to be working. I never complain about the heat in July, as I know the worst is still to come in August, and I never complain about the heat in September, as I know the end is in sight. Throughout August, however, I allow myself an 'unlimited moaning license' and I make use of this at every opportunity. My August angst extends to the kitchen too as it's just way too hot to cook and almost too hot to eat. It's at times like this that this much loved Moroccan Jeweled Couscous Salad is especially welcome, as it's protein-packed to make a perfect, summer scorcher meal or side dish, and the only work it requires is chopping a couple of onions. The fragrant flavors of this delicious dish go especially well with meat and chicken, it makes an ideal vegan mini-meal, and leftovers keep well in the fridge for days. Enjoy a taste of Morocco this Awful August without moving out of range of the air-conditioner. Now that's the sort of summer travelling I can relate too.
2 large red onions, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 cups couscous
2 cups boiling parve chicken stock
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2-3 carrots, grated
2/3 dried cranberries
1 cup grate raw cauliflower (optional)
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Lemon juice and olive oil, to moisten
1/2 cup toasted chopped almonds or pumpkin seeds
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add diced onions and cook until softened. Add spices and seasoning; continue to cook for another 2 minutes until nice and aromatic.
Stir in raw couscous, then pour boiling stock over the top and stir. Turn off heat and cover tightly with a lid. Allow to stand 5-7 minutes until liquid is fully absorbed.
Fluff couscous with a fork, then add remaining ingredients and stir to combine and check seasoning.
Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.
I personally love the crunch of raw cauliflower here - you can grate it or finely chop it - it adds extra substance, but is not essential.
The salad doesn't especially need dressing but a mix of lemon juice and olive oil helps to moisten the grains and adds a little acidity.
Salad can easily be made gluten free by simply replacing couscous with quinoa, which will also add a vegan protein boost. Just cook for 15 minutes over a simmer, then allow to stand with the lid on for a further 15 minutes before fluffing and adding remaining ingredients.