I wish this Giant Couscous Salad would be your chance to try the wonderful ingredient Giant Couscous -or Pearl Couscous- is. I wanted to make a salad with it after reading Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem. Kasia has made a salad with this thick couscous twice, with a paprika and lemon dressing; and since then, I’m fond of this ingredient.
The shape is so cute, one it’s cooked, and it absorbs so much flavor that you are not going to stop playing with it and all its possibilities. I am using vegetable stock for the salad I am bringing you today, but you can use chicken or beef stock or just a bay leave and garlic clove. Your giant couscous won’t let you down at all.
How to make Giant Couscous Salad with Roasted Veggies
Ingredients (Serves 2):
120 gr. Of Giant Couscous
400 ml of vegetable stock (or chicken or beef)
1 bell pepper (red, orange or yellow)
Black Olives and Preserved Lemon vinaigrette
15-20 Black Olives (Kalamata variety, if possible)
½ skin of a preserved lemon
1 teaspoon of Ras El Hanout
8 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Some Vinegar or lemon juice
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven at 180 C.
Cut the courgette and the aubergine in cubes, drizzle them with some olive oil, add the teaspoon of Ras El Hanout, some salt & black pepper to taste and mix. Place them on a oven tray with some baking parchment if necessary.
Clean the pepper from its seeds as we did for Escalivada and put it alongside the cubed courgette and aubergine.
Roast your veggies for 1 hour at 180-190 C with the grill on, if you want it. The aubergine and the courgette will be ready in 45 minutes. Stir them after 20-25 minutes of putting them in the oven. The pepper will take the whole hour and you will need to turn it after 30 minutes.
Let the aubergine and courgette to cool down and place the pepper in a food box or bowl with cling film for 20 minutes, to let it rest and sweat so it will be easier for you to peel it down. Peel the pepper after that 20 minutes and chop it.
I would suggest you to follow the instructions of the producer to cook your couscous. But if you are a rebel who likes to follow your own path do the following. Bring the vegetable stock to boil and add the couscous with a pinch of salt. Cook it on a medium-high fire for 5 minutes; then, reduce to low and gently simmer for 10 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the couscous to get stuck to the bottom of the pan.
After this time, your couscous should have doubled its size and be soft. If not, add a bit more liquid and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Once your giant couscous is cooked, drain any possible remaining liquid and fluff it with a fork to prevent the little pearls to stick together. Place in the fridge to cool it down faster.
Now, let’s do the Black Olives & Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette.
Pit the olives if they are not already pitted and chop them finely. Take the skin off the preserved lemon and chop it too. Mush them with a mortar & pestle until you get an uniform paste. Mix this paste with the olive oil and add a little vinegar or some drops of lemon juice to your taste. Mix well.
In a bowl, mix the giant couscous with the roasted vegetables and dress with the vinaigrette. Adjust the salt and pepper and plate the salad.Crumble some feta cheese over each plate and finish with some more of the dressing, if there is anything left.
Serve immediately and enjoy it. This Giant Couscous Salad is much better if you leave it to rest overnight in the fridge.