March 13, 2012
Page 255, Ottolenghi
Yotam Ottolenghi has a way with herbs and vegetables, my friends. Every time I return to a recipe in his book that seems just too simple to really be great, I am bowled over again. He has a superb ability to put vegetables and grains and herbs together in ways that look simple and taste amazingly complex. And so it was again this evening whe I made his Green Coucous as a side to our grilled fish and our homemade sweet potato fries. The whole wheat couscous was radically transfigured by a paste of 5 fresh herbs and some olive oil. Well, according to the recipe, you were to use 6 tbsp of olive oil, but I am far enough into this project to know that you should *always* start with half of the oil that Mr. Ottolenghi recommends. And half was all that it took for this recipe. Added to that fabulous herbed couscous was some carmelized onion, some fresh arugula, and BOOM – a side dish delicious enough to compete with sweet potato fries.
Adapted from “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi
1 cup couscous
3/4 cup boiling water or vegetable stock
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped tarragon
2 Tbsp chopped dill
2 Tbsp chopped mint
6 Tbsp olive oil (seriously? 6? I used three and it was Plenty indeed)
3 green onions, finely sliced
1 fresh green chile, finely chopped
1 1/4 cup arugula leaves, chopped
Place the couscous in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water or stock. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, fry the onion in the olive oil on medium heat until golden and completely soft. Add the salt and cumin and mix well. Leave to cool slightly.
To make the herb paste. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Add the herb paste to the couscous and mix everything together well with a fork to fluff it up. Now add the cooked onion, green onions, green chile and arugula and gently mix. Serve at room temperature.