Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Couscous salad with tomatoes, green olives and pecorino cheese

10 minutes to prepare Serves 4



Last Friday my husband and I packed up the car for the weekend and drove back to Italy to visit friends.
I love road trips. They give you time to think and to talk, to watch the landscape of Swiss mountains and fields...as long as I do not fall asleep.

While free of the schedule constraints of plane travels, travelling by car carries its own drawbacks, like the lure of junk food at gas stations:
- "May we have Snickers and Redbull for dinner?"
- "No, dear."
My strategy is to be prepared with something delicious and easy, like this couscous salad — a refreshing dinner at any time.

This salad is similar to tabbouleh, but it's heavier on the grains and has even more fresh vegetables. I used tomatoes for savor and color and green olives for taste and meaty texture, I tossed in basil leaves and dry oregano for fresh flavor. It's delicate and spicy, with warmth from a pinch of chili powder, and salty creaminess from pecorino cheese.
This salad doesn't really need to be refrigerated, in spite of the cheese and tomatoes, and will be perfectly fine on a car trip of a few hours.

Of course, this isn't just travel car recipe. This surprising, well-rounded side is easy and full of flavor, and quickly adaptable to any other seasonal vegetables that catch your fancy.
Moreover, it will be on the table faster than you can say “dinnertime.”

Here are ingredients for the 4-serving recipe:


280 g couscous
12 ripe tomatoes
20 green olives
100 g Pecorino cheese
5 basil leaves
5 bay leaves
dry chilli pepper
dry oregano
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Place the bay leaves and 400 ml of cold water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil and time 5 minutes since you see bubbles rising to the water surface. Add a pinch of salt
  2. Put the couscous in a bowl. Pour cinnamon powder and hot water (without bay leaves) over it. Let the couscous to swell for 10 minutes, covered by a lid
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of EVO oil to the couscous. As couscous grains tend to bind together in the cooking process, fluff them with a fork
  4. Add a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon of dry oregano and a pinch of dry chili red pepper. Stir and keep aside
  5. Wash the tomatoes, remove their seeds and cut them into 4 pieces. Cut olives in half, and pecorino cheese into cubes. Wash basil leaves and chop them
  6. Pour tomatoes, olives, basil and cheese into the bowl with couscous. Add freshly ground pepper and mix well. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts are listed for this recipe in the table below. Data is provided per serving.

Couscous - the food's so nice they named it twice.

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