Thursday, 6 September 2012

couscous salad with lime dressing


This simple and easy to make salad has been quite often on the menu this summer, or since we got back from a short trip to London in June. I bought a couscous salad in the Whole Foods Market on Kensington High Street to eat on the way back home and it tasted so delicious that I decided to use it as an idea for my own summer salad. This is one of my experiments and, in fact, I'm enjoying it while creating this post. The salad I bought was quite different and it had chickpeas in it but my experiments started with kidney beans and pinto beans. Actually, the only time we found it dull was when I used chickpeas. Maybe it needed to sit longer before serving, I don't know. It just didn't taste the same. As I said, it's easy to make so I like having it for lunch and then I use the rest as a side dish with dinner that same day. It goes really well with chicken and all kinds of grilled meat. There are many types of couscous available on the market, I use organic one from Rapunzel.

COUSCOUS SALAD WITH LIME DRESSING

INGREDIENTS

SALAD

  • 200 g organic couscous (1 cup)
  • 300 ml water (250 ml = 1 cup)
  • 1 can kidney beans (400 g)
  • 100 g sweetcorn (½ cup)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 orange, diced
  • optional: ½ red onion, finely chopped

DRESSING

  • 3-3½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (you will need two limes)
  • 1½-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Himalaya or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric

METHOD

SALAD

  1. Start with preparing the couscous which is very simple: Put couscous and water into a small saucepan, bring to boil (happens fast), remove immediately from heat, cover with lid and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes
  2. Rinse and drain the beans and sweetcorn and keep them in a colander until ready to use (I use organic sweetcorn that I buy in glass jars)
  3. Remove the seeds and dice the red pepper
  4. Peel the orange with a sharp knife and try to remove all the pith. Cut the orange in half and dice it (make sure you are using a good and tasty orange)
  5. If using the half red onion, peel it and chop finely (I recommend it for the salad as it adds a good taste)
  6. Put all the ingredients into a big salad bowl and mix together

DRESSING

  1. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and spices
  2. Drizzle some of the dressing over the salad and mix together, repeat two or three times until you have used up all the dressing
  3. Leave the salad to stand for about 10 to 20 minutes while the flavours are developing
  4. Serve as a main course with bread or as a side dish with, for example, grilled meat

Please note, do not keep the orange or limes in the fridge before preparing the salad. In an airtight container you can keep the salad in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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