Rabu, 19 Oktober 2011

Saffron Couscous, Chickpea and Lentil Salad

Isn't it great when you are looking for a recipe and then when you find one you happen to have almost all the ingredients at home? That's what happened to me when I found this recipe. I used already cooked lentils that I bought at the store, switched the lemon with a lime and replaced the red endive with arugula. The salad combines different textures and the flavor was on the sweet and sour side. Great for lunch or to bring to a Potluck.
Another very good recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi's great book "Plenty"

Saffron Couscous, Chickpea and Lentil Salad
Yotam Ottolenghi
(serves 4)

You may ask, "Why is he cooking three types of carb for one measly salad?" Well, my answer is simple: it's all about texture. Take your average couscous salad and it's almost always a sloppy mush, no matter how much attention has gone into getting flavours in there. Asians tend to derive as much pleasure, if not more, from the texture of their food as they do from the flavour combinations; it makes eating so much more sensual. I try to apply this philosophy wherever I can. In this salad the different sizes of the couscous, lentils and chickpeas, and their different degrees of hardness, create constant surprises to match the wealth of flavors.
  • 225 g couscous
  • ½ teaspoon saffron strands
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 260m l boiling water
  • 150 g cooked chickpeas (tinned are OK)
  • 150 g cooked Puy lentils (follow the cooking instructions given on the packet – they can vary)
  • 80 g dried cranberries
  • 1 red endive, cut into 1cm-thick slices
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
1.Put the couscous in a shallow bowl. Add the saffron and a pinch of salt to the boiling water, and pour this over the couscous to cover. Wrap the bowl in clingfilm and set aside for 15 minutes, so the couscous soaks up the liquid. Remove the clingfilm, fluff up the couscous with a fork, then set aside to cool down.
2.Transfer the cold couscous to a mixing bowl, add the chickpeas, lentils and cranberries, and toss. Add the endive, spring onion, herbs, lemon zest, garlic and nigella seeds, stir gently to combine, then stir in olive oil and season to taste.
3.Serve this salad straight away, or chill it for up to 24 hours; the flavours actually improve over time. Before serving, bring back to room temperature and add more olive oil or seasoning as necessary.

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