Following the M&S couscous salad the other week, I decided to make something similar for a party tomorrow. I got down a big mixing bowl, and:
Filled it about a third full with dry couscous and added a little salt and enough boiling water to cover it plus about half an inch, and left it for 5 minutes.
Got out the food processor and roughly chopped:
- a large red onion
- a seedless clementine
- half a packet of frozen raw cranberries
- a handful of organic dried apricots
When the couscous had absorbed all the water, I fluffed it up and added the veggie mix, along with a drained tin of chickpeas. I would have put in two tins if I'd had them, it would have improved the texture.
Then I put the processor back together again (unrinsed) and blended:
- a huge bunch of fresh coriander, stalks and all
- orange juice (about a mugful)
- lemon juice (about a half a cup)
- 2 teaspoons rose water
- enough olive oil to make it look like a salad dressing
- lots of spices, biggest amount first - mixed spice, cinnamon, paprika, ginger, oregano, thyme, cardamom, nutmeg
- three heaped teaspoons chopped garlic from the jar
until the coriander was quite finely chopped, then I poured it over the couscous.
Before I mixed it in I also added:
- a handful of very good dried sweetened cranberries, that were almost like glace cherries
- a mugful of raisins
- a mugful of flaked almonds
- half a mug of dried barberries
- half a mug of dried pomegranate seeds
- half a mug of raw pumpkin seeds
I stirred it all well, and topped it up by sprinkling some of the still hot water over it – when the dressing starts to get absorbed it will dry out. It felt like making a really good Christmas pudding.
Tomorrow I will taste it again, and see if it needs more salt, I don't use a lot of salt automatically anymore and tend not to add enough. Also for sweetness – it's going to be one of those things that initially tastes very sharp but has a lot of lasting sweetness in it, so the first taste might need mellowing and the longer tones sharpening – honey and onion will do that nicely. And for heat – it will need just a little kick and some more paprika or even cayenne might be in order.