Jewelled Couscous

I find couscous to be an extremely easy to use ingredient. All you need to do with it, really, is add some water (or stock, if you prefer) and let it stand for a couple of minutes, then fluff it up using a fork. I am aware of the fact real couscous is actually steamed rather than poached, but the ‘cheap’ version is so versatile it can easily be adapted to curries, stews, tagines or on its own, like in this recipe. Plenty of vegetables and extra bits here and there contribute to make this couscous dish ‘jewelled’ and speckled with emerald green, topaz yellow and ruby red gems. Quick to prepare, the overall idea is from the one of the July issues of the Good Food magazine, although as usual I added my personal twist to it.

In fact, this recipe is so versatile you can easily adapt it to suit your lifestyle and/or taste by adding cubed feta, spices, more vegetables, etc. The couscous itself needs a generous amount of seasoning as it would be very bland on its own.

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Ingredients

  • 400g couscous
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • 250g soft dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 140g pitted black olives, whole
  • 140g sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • salt & pepper
  • coriander, to decorate

Method

  1. Place the couscous in a bowl and cover with 650ml boiling water. Cover with a towel and leave to steam for about 5 minutes, then remove the towel and use a fork to fluff up the couscous.
  2. Pour over the oil, lime juice, a good amount of seasoning and the ground cumin, then stir them in.
  3. Gently stir through the remaining ingredients and serve.

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