Since it’s hot in Belgium we are looking for some refreshment along with the BBQ. Due to some personal reasons I’m looking for some easy digestible and healthy sidedishes. I have to admit it’s hard for me to think in the restricted area. My wife’s Quinoa Salad convinced me healthy could be good too, so I went on a search! The possitive side is getting to know some ingredients we rarely or didn’t use up till now, which gives me some new energy to experiment with. Couscous belongs to the mentioned group of ingredients we rarely use (read: we always made the same thing over and over again…).
This afternoon I encountered the following recipe: “Couscous Salad with Fresh Cherries” on the blog “Not without Salt”. What a great way to get to know a new blog! Another one to follow. Besides look at the photography presenting the dishes. I still have a lot to learn! To me it ar pieces of art… Just looking at them makes you hungry. Especially those cherries were getting my attention, because I’m fond of cherries! I would spend a whole evening eating them (if they were not that expensive…). I liked the idea to mix em up with couscous and Feta since I’m getting to appreciate this cheese more and more. In my opinion it adds a fresh slightly salted flavour when added with care and tastes great combined with sweetness. Not hard to do the maths and find out this could be some a well tasting Salad. As usual I was a little careless when reading the ingredient list. So I was “forced” to experiment with this recipe (and make it my own). Here’s my impression on the Couscous Salad:
- 2 cups couscous
- Multifruit Juice
- 2 cups cherries, pitted and quartered
- 1 cup pines, walnut and hazelnut mixture
- Fresh Parsley and Basil leaves
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup Watermelon Molasses (recipe inculded further)
- 1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice from a whole lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- A slice of Watermelon (about 1/8th of a watermelon)
- 1 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp. Agave syrup
- 1 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar
Step 1: Making the Watermelon Molasses
This is easy. Start by cutting the watermelon in dices (or slices) and let them cook in a saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer until the watermelon gets mushy. I blended the ingredients at this point and let it reduce until you get a thick mixture.
Step 2: Boiling the couscous
It depends what kind of couscous you are using. Read the instructions coming along and replace the water with multifruit juice. Boil the juice and add some salt. Once the juice is boiling add it to the couscous and put aside for the time needed. After this period add some butter and mix it through! This prevents the couscous from sticking. Let cool down in the refrigerator.
Step 3: Preparing Garniture
While the couscous is swelling you have some time to:
- Pit and slice the cherries
- Chop the nuts in small pieces and bake them
- Crumble the Feta
Step 4: Prepare the dressing and finnish the salad
Simply mix the ingredients mentioned above. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add the dressing and freshly chopped herbs. This should be the result you’re getting:
We really enjoyed this recipe! It was even more refreshing than I had in mind. It woud fit perfectly as a dish on it’s own but we used it as a sidedish to an oldschool BBQ (lot’s of bought meat). I ended up with the conclusion I will not by marinated food anymore since the flavours tend to be way to dominant. Nevertheless this salad combined well with Scampi, Chipolata and Lamb steak. Next time I’ll make this recipe with one tastefull piece of meat marinated at home. This salad deserves a nice piece of meat (if it needs anything…)
Feel free like, share or leave a comment! You might have some good advice I could learn from or just want to share some interesting experiences.