Pearl couscous salad spiked with greens
An easy side dish inspired by a friend's last minute picnic addition. It possibly tastes even better the day after, once the couscous has slurped up the vinaigrette. Put a fried egg on top and call it 'breakfast'. Or – halloumi, feta, goat's cheese...
- 1 cup pearl cous cous
- 1-ish courgettes, mandolined (or shave using a veg peeler)
- pitted green olives (Castelvetrano would be my first choice; clearly didn't have that luxury when I snapped my meal)
- spring onions, sliced
- loads of parsley and mint, chopped
- lemon juice and zest to taste
- Lightly toast couscous with a little olive oil in a pan over a low heat. This brings out the 'nutty flavour'. A phrase beautifully uttered by Yotam Ottolenghi, my culinary-maximalist hero
- Meanwhile, bring 1.5 cups of salted water to the boil
- Pour couscous into salted boiling water and cook for about 10 minutes
- Remove from heat and let cool
- If you have one handy, mandolin courgette lengthways. Otherwise, test your slicing skills or use a veg peeler.
- Place in a bowl and drizzle with a good amount white wine vinegar (this will form the basis of your dressing), salt, a sprinkling of sugar and half a clove of grated garlic. Now, massage. Leave to soak and drain before combining with couscous.
- Slice spring onions; roughly chop mint, parsley. Dill would be nice too, but have fun keeping a bunch alive longer than one mealtime.
- Combine cooled couscous with all your greenery. Season to taste, adding more vinegar, a big glug of good quality extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and a squeeze of juice. Too tart? Add my salad go-to maple syrup.