Cous cous salad recipe

On the quest for the ultimate salad, cous cous makes a perfect dish when you are told ‘don’t bring a thing’ or a quick nutritious side for the family bbq. Israeli cous cous salad adds that extra bit of dimension to any summer get together.  (As a word of warning, like the toast always falls  buttered side down, if you drop  the  cous cous, you will be cleaning it up in a weeks’ time, no matter how thorough you  clean, those little balls seem to travel a long way……….yes I speak out of experience!!)

Israeli cous cous is made from semolina and wheat flour, so although makes a great vegetarian salad, it is not gluten free.  Quick and easy to prepare, I like to stir through the dressing while it is still warm, so it sucks up all the flavours.  Follow the instructions on the back of the packet to cook the perfect cous cous and then try one of these dressing to create what you fancy on the day.

Moroccan dressing

½ c vegetable oil
4 tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ garlic clove – finely chopped
½ lemon zest
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. dried thyme
¼ tsp. salt
good pinch of cracked pepper

Mix altogether, toss through cous cous. Salad: add some raisins, green beans, roasted pumpkin, julienne carrots and baby spinach.

Mint and feta cous cous

½ c vegetable oil
juice of one large lemon
½ lemon zest
½ orange zest
¼ cup shredded mint
1 tbsp. runny honey
good pinch of salt
good pinch of cracked pepper
Optional – finely chopped chilli.

Mix all ingredients together. Salad: add diced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley, diced feta, black olives, sliced red onion.

Stick in on a stick

Summer brings us the bounty of fresh fruits and too many parties.   I have taken some classic combinations and created a duo of bevies’ with these quick crowd pleasers.

While you may think that chili is an odd combination with pineapple, it adds an extra dimension of flavour when paired with fresh mint.  The choice is yours on how much you add, I like to keep to the milder side so as not to scare people off with the idea of chili! When cutting the pineapple, peel the outside, cut in half and then in quarters, remove core. Cut in half and then cut the pineapple in to 4 wedges so that you will end up with 32 wedges.

Rock melon season provides another odd combination by adding cured meat wrapped around it and for extra crunch a homemade dukkah dipped on the end.  The dukkah sticks very well to the melon.

The good thing about these two skewers is they are perfect for gluten free guests. Double the dukka mix and keep some in an air tight container, sprinkle on grilled meats and BBQ’ed vegetables. Roast some vegetables and sprinkle on top, throw through some cooked penne pasta with lemon zest and olive oil for a quick dinner

Walnut Dukkah

½ cup walnuts- toasted
2 tbsp. sesame seeds – toasted
½ tsp. whole coriander seed – toasted
1 tsp.  Whole cumin – toasted
½ tsp. smoked peppercorns – plain works just as well
¼ tsp. salt

In a pestle and mortar crush the peppercorns, coriander and cumin seeds together.  Add the walnuts and gently crush together with spices.  Add sesame and salt and mix together. Done!

Mint and chili pineapple

¼ c caster sugar
¼ red chili – finely chopped, no seeds
¼ c fresh mint – finely chopped

Mix together and pile on top of skewered pineapple

Caramel and chocolate slice

Over the last couple of years for writing for The Bay News, there have been a number of recipes that people repeating ask me for.  So I thought I would provide this recipe again for this perfect gluten free baking slice.   It can of course be made with normal plain flour as well.

I would suggest doubling this recipe, as one piece is just not enough!!

When making the caramel filling, don’t rush it, and don’t walk away from the pot, it will ‘catch’ quickly.

With most people now returned back to work and school starting soon, this will be the perfect slice for lunch boxes all round!

 

Chocolate caramel slice

1 cup GF self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 c brown sugar – firmly packed
¼ c silvered almonds
125 g butter – melted

Caramel filling
395 g condensed milk
30g butter
2 tbsp. golden syrup

Chocolate topping
200g dark chocolate – chopped
50 g Chefade
Toasted Silvered Almonds

Method

Preheat oven 180’c. Line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin with baking paper. Combine flour, coconut, brown sugar, almonds in bowl. Stir in butter, mix, and press in tin. Bake 15 minutes, until lightly golden.
Meanwhile, make Caramel filling. Place all ingredients in small pot and cook over a low heat until golden brown. Stir   constantly.
Pour over hot base, bake a further 10 minutes. Cool.
Make topping – Melt chocolate and Chefade together. Spread over top of slice and sprinkle with toasted almonds. Stand at room temperature until set, cut into small  squares.