Winter couscous salad


Over the summer I went to Greece for my holidays, Saturday’s meal was inspired from some of the delicious meals I’d had during my week in Halkidiki.

I appreciate that a salad in late October could be viewed as a strange idea, if  this is your thought, then  fair enough, but belive me there are so many ways of creating a winter salad and lettuce doesn’t have to play any part.

Couscous
Last night I had a couscous salad something that I don’t usually have, I had recently found quinoa and enjoyed this in salads so I thought I’d give couscous another chance. Couscous is quite a plain food, but that can also be what makes it great to work with, it can be a great base for creating an exciting and tasty meal. this post is merely to highlight its variety to anyone wondering what to do with the packet they have in the cupboard. My salad took a total of 40 mins to create, and 30mins of this was taken by simply roasting my pepper.

Sainsburys
Oxford’s Sainsburys at Heyford Hill has been undergoing a huge re-furb, so with my vague meal plan in my head and a new layout to explore I headed down to do my weekly shop. The layout of the new Sainsburys was very different from before, I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time!  I liked the counters at the back, they looked neat and clean, in a very Sainsburys sort of way! They included a Delicatessen counter, Create your own Pizza counter, a Fishmonger and a Butchers. I made great use of the Deli counter for my additions to my salad.

Ingredients

  • 100g Couscous – 50g pp
  • Chicken stock – to soak the couscous
  • Cotwswold Gold Oil– smoked variety
  • Hot peppadaw pepper stuffed with cream cheese – Sainsburys deli small pot (small pot to serve 2)
  • Green and black olives with feta – Sainsburys deli (small pot to serve2)
  • Sunblush tomatoes – Sainsburys deli (small pot to serve 2)
  • Chunk of cucumber
  • 1 Orange
  • 1 Heaped tbsp Plain Yoghurt
  • 1 Orange Pepper – to roast 
  • Salt and Pepper

A friend of mine has requested that I add more photos, so this is for her! Although the photo was taken after I had started my dinner, so it doesn’t really have the presentation impact that it should have, but you’ll get the idea… even a salad can be warming in Autumn colours!

To start
Pre heat the oven to 150C
I chopped up my orange pepper, discarded the seeds, then added to a baking tray with a drizzle of vegetable oil and balsamic vinegar. I put this in the oven for approximately 30mins.

Meanwhile..
I cubed a small amount of cucumber (3″ in length) and roughly chopped my orange, I added this to a small glass bowl with a pinch of Maldon sea salt and a heaped spoonful of plain yoghurt, then mixed and added equal portions to the plates.

I split the peppadaw pepper pot between the plates and did the same to my olive and feta mix, I halved my olives to avoid the inevitable fork/olive battle. (Where the olive pings off your plate!)

5 minutes before the peppers came out of the oven,  I added my boiling chicken stock to the couscous, as instructed on the side of the packet, and left to soak for the remaining 5 minutes.

Once the couscous and peppers were ready I added the peppers to the couscous, with the use of some tongs, to minimise the oil from the baking tray.

Magic
It was at this point I added what I would call the ‘magic’ to this dish: A drizzle of Cotswold Gold smoked oil to the couscous and peppers. I had a choice of Garlic, Chilli or Smoked and I was very impressed with how well the Smoked oil complimented the salad.

I added the couscous mix to the plates and scattered the sunblush tomatoes on top with a good grinding of black pepper.

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