Courgette and beetroot couscous


couscous salad

 

The courgettes are coming thick and fast now. Well, they’re actually coming thick, thin, large, small, straight, bendy, any which way. I can never understand how the supermarkets manage to only stock very regular shaped and sized courgettes, there must be so many that are discarded, I dread to think. I just hope they go to some use, I won’t get started on the evils of supermarket waste.

The first of my courgettes always get the simple treatment to start with, which means they are sliced and thrown into a pan of hot olive oil for a few minutes each side, then drained on kitchen paper before being seasoned with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and then greedily devoured with our hands. They don’t make it into any dish as such. But they are also delicious used raw in salads.

This dish became a lunchtime favourite for me last summer. It’s my own made-up recipe that changes like the wind dependant on what needs using up in the fridge. But courgettes, if I have them, always go in.

Ingredients:

couscous ingredients

You can roughly see the quantities in the picture above are just for one, adapt as you like for however many people you are feeding. I sometimes use a little chopped apple instead of the dried fruit, but a bit of something sweet really works well. Substitute the mint for basil if you prefer, feta for goats cheese if you please, and you could use red onion instead of spring. You could also add walnuts or almond flakes at the end.

Method:

1. Firstly wash, trim (leaving a bit of leaf stalk on) and boil the beetroot for around 30-40 mins depending on size. Once cooled, peel. I usually chop the top and bottom off so it’s stable and then use the back of a knife to scrape the skin downwards. If it’s cooked enough it should come off easily, so it’s a good indication.

2. Prepare the couscous by putting it into a bowl and just covering it with hot veg or chicken stock. I use Marigold bullion powder. Or you could use freshly boiled water with a little turmeric (just a pinch) and some seasoning. Leave to one side for a few minutes. Once the water has been absorbed, fork it through, drizzle over a little olive oil and stir to coat.

3. Prepare the other ingredients by chopping or slicing into similar sized pieces. Then mix everything (except the beetroot) together.

4. Top with the beetroot at the end, or else you’ll get very pink couscous. If however, you want pink couscous, be my guest and stir it all in!

courgette harvest

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