Witty wheat

Take couscous a step up

November 5, 2014 16:47
4 minute read.
Vegetable salad

Vegetable salad with tuna and savory couscous granola. (photo credit: LIRON ALMOG)

Photos and styling: Liron Almog Couscous – it’s easy to make, filling and very versatile. Maya Darin, a chef and food writer, used a few different types of quick-preparation couscous of the Couscous Maison brand and played around with them. The recipes below are the result.

Serves 4
The savory couscous granola is a great addition to any salad.
For the granola: ✔ 1 cup whole oats ✔ 1 cup quick-preparation whole wheat couscous, prepared according to package instructions ✔ ½ cup sunflower seeds, peeled ✔ ½ cup pumpkin seeds, peeled ✔ ½ cup almonds, slivered ✔ ¼ tsp. salt ✔ Pinch ground chili ✔ 1 tsp. ground coriander ✔ 2 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ 2 Tbsp. tehina paste For the salad: ✔ 12 lettuce leaves, torn by hand to bite size ✔ 4 ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped ✔ 4 cucumbers, coarsely chopped ✔ 2 peppers (different colors), coarsely chopped ✔ 2 cups green beans, cooked (you may use frozen) ✔ 8 spring potatoes (small), cooked, peeled and quartered ✔ 12 large black olives ✔ 4 Tbsp. light tuna chunks in oil, drained ✔ 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered ✔ 4 anchovies For the dressing: ✔ 3⁄4 cups olive oil ✔ ¼ cup fresh lemon juice ✔ 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar ✔ Salt and pepper to taste Heat oven to 170°.

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Mix all the granola ingredients and spread on a lined baking sheet. Roast the granola in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Mix the salad ingredients except the tuna, eggs and anchovies. Add the dressing and toss. Garnish with egg, olives and anchovies.

Sprinkle the granola on top and serve.

Serves 4
Maya Darin suggests serving the falafel with a hot tomato salad. You may, of course, serve it with other salads or on its own. For the falafel: ✔ 1 cup green lentils ✔ 2 cups dried peas ✔ 1 cup quick-preparation couscous, cooked according to package instructions ✔ ½ bunch cilantro ✔ ½ bunch parsley ✔ Handful fresh basil ✔ Handful fresh mint ✔ 2 garlic cloves, peeled ✔ 4 Tbsp. olive oil ✔ 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds ✔ 1 tsp. chopped red-hot chili ✔ Salt and black pepper to taste ✔ Oil for deep frying For the tomato salad: ✔ Different kinds of cherry tomatoes ✔ Handful fresh herbs ✔ Olive oil ✔ Lemon juice ✔ 1 garlic clove, minced ✔ ½ tsp. chopped red-hot chili ✔ Salt and black pepper to taste Prepare the salad from all the ingredients.

In a food processor, grind together all the falafel ingredients (except the frying oil), until smooth.

Heat oil in a deep pot, grease your palms and roll small falafel balls.

Fry the falafel balls for 5 minutes. Fry no more than 10 balls in each round.

From time to time, mix the balls in the oil.

Transfer the fried falafel balls to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Serve hot with salad.

Serves 4
Darin suggests serving the fish patties on a bed of cauliflower curry, but you may choose to serve them without it.
✔ 1 bunch asparagus For the cauliflower: ✔ 3 cups cauliflower florets ✔ 1⁄3 cup olive oil ✔ Zest of 1 lemon ✔ 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, crushed ✔ Salt and pepper to taste For the patties: ✔ 200 gr. fish fillet, without bones or skin.

(Best is white fish) ✔ 1 cup cauliflower florets, cooked ✔ 2 cups quick-preparation thin couscous, cooked according to instructions ✔ 6 Tbsp. flour ✔ 1 egg ✔ Handful fresh tarragon leaves ✔ Handful parsley leaves ✔ Handful cilantro leaves ✔ ½ onion, chopped ✔ 3 cloves garlic, peeled ✔ Salt and pepper to taste ✔ 1 cup thin couscous, cooked according to instructions ✔ Frying oil Cook asparagus in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Remove and cool in ice water.

Drain and set aside.

To prepare cauliflower: Heat oven to 180°.

Mix all the ingredients and transfer to an oven-proof shallow dish or a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare patties: In a food processor, grind all the patty ingredients to a smooth but lumpy texture and season to taste.

Sprinkle cooked thin couscous on a clean work surface, grease palms and roll small patties, then roll the patties in the couscous until completely coated.

Heat 1 cm. oil in a frying pan and fry the patties on both sides for 6 minutes.

Serve on a bed of the cauliflower and garnish with the asparagus.

■ Recipes and photos courtesy of chef Maya Darin and Couscous Maison (Mishpacha Hama), the leading quick-preparation couscous in Israel, www.c-m.co.il/english/

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