Moroccan cous cous salad

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We were invited to a MEAT FEST at our friend’s Kev & Suze’s place on Saturday a couple of weeks ago. As Kev comes from Canada, he has a passion for smoking meat. On the menu was beef brisket and roast pork in his awesome BBQ (he will probably get upset with me for calling it a BBQ, because it looks nothing like a BBQ that us Aussies would own!). Kev, as always, produces amazing tasting meats, so I knew I had to prepare something awesome to go with it! Oh the pressure!! What to do, what to do!? There was going to be 10 or so friends at the BBQ so I knew I wanted to impress them. But I also had to think about the sides that they all might be bringing too! I would have been devastated if there were two salads the same!! Not that it would have mattered!

There was so much to inspire me out there on World Wide Web! Thank you for so many wonderful and inspirational tools and recipes that I used for this recipe – I took bits & pieces from quite a few websites.  As I had decided on doing this Amazing Moroccan Cous Cous Salad, I needed some help on how long to cook baked pumpkin for to get the perfect texture, the amounts of spices and sorts of dressings needed and how a spicy harissa goes perfectly with any Moroccan dishes!

I knew I had most of the ingredients in my pantry, and I knew how I wanted the finished dish to look but everything inbetween I was a bit hazy on, so needed inspiration or more to the point, correct quantities 😉

Please feel free to use homemade chicken stock, as I had none in the freezer, I used powdered chicken stock, which still works perfectly fine and tastes great!

INGREDIENTS:
Cous Cous:
2 small sweet potatoes (380 grams) washed and cut into 2cmx2cm cubes
Canola oil spray
2½ cups cous cous
2½ cups chicken stock
2½ teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons sea salt
¾ cup currants
1 packet (110 grams) slivered almonds, toasted
1 can (400 grams) chickpeas, drained
I red onion, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced

Cous cous dressing:
½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
½ cup fresh coriander, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil

Yoghurt Dressing:
Zest of ½ lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
200 gram tub natural yoghurt
5 fresh mint leaves, finely shredded

METHOD:
Heat oven to 200˚C
Place sweet potato on a lined baking tray and spray with canola oil.
Cook for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally and remove from the oven when golden and tender to touch.
Allow to cool before adding to the cous cous.

To roast the slivered almonds, place them into a small skillet on a low/medium heat and dry roast them slowly, stirring constantly. Once the almonds have turned a golden colour, remove immediately from the heat. Allow to cool.

Now let’s prepare the cous cous.
Boil kettle and prepare your chicken stock (if using powdered) in a measuring jug and add garlic.
In a small bowl, add the ground ginger, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and salt and combine.
Place the cous cous into a heat proof bowl that has a lid, then add the dry spice and mix thoroughly.
Add in chicken stock and butter and cover. Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes.
Then using a fork, fluff up the cous cous.

In a large bowl, add the cooled sweet potato, currants, chickpeas, capsicum and onion with the cous cous. Combine well.

Before serving, mix the lemon juice, zest and oil into a measuring jug. Add all herbs into the cous cous and pour over dressing. Get your big salad servers and mix everything well.

Place on a serving bowl or dish and top with the toasted slivered almonds and slices of lemon.

Serve with small bowls of harissa and yoghurt dressing.

Enjoy!

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