I know my posts have been few and far between in the past few weeks. I wish I could tell you that I have been cooking up a storm and have a backlog of recipes to post but that's sadly not the case. Between the start of the semester and everything else that has been going on I haven't been in the kitchen that much. Last night was an exception, more because I needed to clean out the fridge than any noble nourishment purpose. Read More!
I had some peppers, half a cucumber, small tomato and feta cheese- all the fixing for a Shopska salad (a kind of Balkan vegetable salad). Since this would be our dinner I decided to make turn the Shopska into a pasta salad by mixing it with the Israeli couscous I picked up on the weekend. The whole dinner took about 20 minutes to put together. While the water boils and the couscous cooks you can chop the veggies, then everything gets tossed together with olive oil, red wine vinegar and feta cheese. That's it. Despite the simplicity the salad is light, fresh and delicious. We had it for dinner, but it would be a great side dish to grilled chicken or fish.
I'm entering this recipe in the Monthly Mingle, which this month is Sensational Sides, hosted by Ruth at Kitchen Experiments in place of Meeta, who usually hosts.
Couscous, Shopka Style
Serves 2 for dinner, for as a side dish
1 C. Israeli style couscous
1 1/3 C. water, or a mix of water and broth (I did 1 C. water, 1/2 C. chicken broth)
1/3 white onion, chopped
1 C. cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 small tomato, diced
1 bell pepper, or two small peppers, diced (any color you like, though orange would be prettiest)
2 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. olive oil
3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
- Set the onion in a bowl full of cold water and swish around then leave till you are ready to assemble the salad. This will help make it a bit less pungent.
- Bring the water (and broth) to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir in couscous and reduce to a simmer, cook for 8-10 minutes or until couscous is tender.* If you notice that you pot has run dry and a few more tablespoons of water.
- While the water boils, chop up the veggies. When the couscous is cooked, stir in the vegetables, oil and vinegar and a few grates of pepper and then the feta cheese. Taste for seasonings and serve immediately.
The salad keeps well in the fridge for a day or two, just fluff with a fork before eating.
*If you use straight water to cook the couscous, add a good pinch of salt to it with the pasta.