Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Red Bean and Couscous Salad

I think I've mentioned before that P really hates the smaller, Moroccan couscous. Luckily for me, P's not here. I was poking through my pantry, amazed by how organised it can be while still managing to obscure things I haven't seen in ages. Like those little Japanese red beans. Hm. I'd forgotten those were there. What I love about those little beans is that they have a natural sweetness and creaminess to them that most other beans don't have. And since in addition to using up the contents of my freezer, I'm also trying to reacquaint myself with some of my pantry storage, this meal seemed like a big win for me. I have 10 or 15 different types of beans in the house, yet I normally defer to using black beans, chick peas and great northerns. Do I just forget about all the other guys? Do I simply not care? Am I just too lazy to peek around and see what's out there? It's probably all three issues. I really would like to correct this. After all, what's the point in storing diverse pantry staples if you aren't going to use them?

So for this salad, I wanted to incorporate the red beans with some couscous to offset the colour of the beans (lately I've been really into things that have contrasting colours in the main ingredients). I also wanted to utilise a bit of fresh produce in conjunction with frozen and preserved things. I was looking for something a little tangy, crunchy, soft, creamy, sweet, savoury and salty. Is that too much to ask for? You be the judge. Lastly, I wanted something that was mostly hands-off, since I'm in the middle of the last week of this summer session. Anyway, this worked well for me; simple to prepare and travels well. Hope you enjoy!

1 1/2 cups broth
1 cup couscous
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/4 cups cooked adzuki beans
2 stalks celery, minced
2 carrots, minced
1 cup chopped, marinated artichoke crowns or hearts
1 cup coarsely chopped pickles (I used this kind, but you should use what you have on hand)
1/2 cup feta crumbles


1 teaspoon each: harissa, tomato paste
juice of 3 limes
1/8 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Boil broth with salt and oil. When it comes to a boil, add couscous, stir, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 10 minutes then fluff and put into a large bowl. Mix with beans, celery, carrots, artichoke, pickles and feta. Whisk together harissa, tomato paste, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well into the couscous mixture, chill and serve. Serves 6-8.

4 comments:

  1. try this again (fsking interwebs...)

    The first (dozen)time(s) I read this I thought it was a hot salad, and thought "ew, gross, raw carrot in hot stuff, yuk!" But as a cold salad, it looks like it'd be really good.

    Except- Gotta go with P on this one- Israeli or (I think it's) Turkish couscous has much better texture than the small stuff. It just seems to grainy to me (I know, I know, but like sand, not wheat).

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  2. Ew, that would be gross if it was hot! Especially with all the pickles and stuff in it. I really intended this salad to last me a couple days, but I ended up eating it all within about 5 hours.

    I can see why it'd seem grainy to you. I like pretty much all kinds of couscous, so I don't mind using the larger ones when he's in town. But I eat it up yum when he's gone, for sure.

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  3. It doesn't sound good, but I trust you and will give it a try.

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  4. Mike, I really did like this one. It was a little unconventional, but still a fun recipe. Let me know how you felt about it after you try it, please.

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