“What is couscous?” No, this is not the Friday Food Quiz, this is the question my son asked recently when I made this salad. Hubs answered: “It must be made with mealiemeal (a coarse flour made from corn), because it tastes like putu pap (crumbly porridge) and that is why I like it.” My son’s answer: “That is why I DON’t like it!”
So what is couscous? Actually, couscous is a pasta, not a grain. It is made by mixing semolina (coarsely ground durum wheat) and water, and then shaping into the little “grains” of pasta. The pasta is then coated with flour to prevent them from sticking to each other.
I told my son that it is a pasta and he still doesn’t want to eat it, because he does not like the texture!
I have added both fresh coriander and fresh mint to this salad, which gave it a fresh taste. One would think that it will not pair well together because both these herbs have strong distinctive tastes of its own, but it worked wonderfully in this recipe.
You can serve this as a meatless main dish or as a side dish.
- 1 onion, quartered
- 250g butternut, cubed
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 125g baby brinjals, chopped
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 30ml olive oil
- 250g couscous
- 60g dried apricots, chopped
- zest of ½ a lemon
- a handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped
- a handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
- Divide the quartered onions into its layers
- Place the onions, cubed butternut, green peppers and brinjals onto an oven dish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil.
- Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the vegetables are just cooked.
- Remove from the oven and cool down slightly.
- Cook the couscous according to the packet instructions.
- Add the roasted vegetables, chopped apricots, lemon zest and fresh herbs and carefully mix through.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.