Sunday 17 June 2007

Couscous, Feta & Pea Salad with a Naartjie Dressing

This spicy winter salad is perfumed with the wonderful zest of fresh naartjies, which is what we call tangerines or clementines here in South Africa. Pour the dressing over the couscous while it is still quite warm, and the heat will release all its aromatic flavours.

 If you like big warm spicy winter salads, try my Moroccan-Spiced Carrot & Chickpea Salad, or my North African Chicken & Couscous Salad.

Couscous, Feta & Pea Salad with a Naartjie Dressing

For the dressing: 
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
juice of two naartjies [tangerines]
juice of half a lemon
3 Tbsp (45 ml) white wine vinegar
½ tsp (2.5 ml) dry mustard powder
½ tsp (2.5 ml) paprika
1½ tsp (7.5 ml) cumin
1 tsp (5 ml) coriander powder
¾ cup (180 ml) olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad: 
3 cups (750 ml) couscous
2 Tbsp (30 ml) concentrated chicken or vegetable stock, or similar
boiling water for the cousous
1 x 400 g tin chickpeas, drained
finely grated zest of two naartjies
2 cups (500 ml) frozen peas, microwaved or boiled until just cooked
6 courgettes, thinly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
a big handful fresh parsley, chopped

To garnish:
½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped mint and/or coriander
salt and pepper
3 'wheels' (about 210 g) feta cheese
2 Tbsp (30 ml) toasted sesame seeds, or a handful of toasted flaked almonds

 Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together well. Set aside. Make up the couscous according to the packet instructions, adding the stock to the boiling water. Fluff with a fork to separate the grains, and allow to cool for a few minutes.

Tip into a large mixing bowl, and add the all the remaining salad ingredients, reserving half a cup of grated carrot. Pour over the dressing and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now tip the salad onto a big, flat platter. Crumble the feta in a ring around the edge of the bowl, pile the remaining grated carrot in the middle and scatter generously with parsley and sesame seeds.

Serves 6-8

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