How you doin’? It has been suggested that I lighten up a bit. It’s not the first time I’ve heard that suggestion, but I think this time they are referring to the recipes. After all it is really getting warm in Los Angeles and people just want to eat a little lighter. Also, it’s time we starting losing the “Covid-19”… the number of pounds many of us gained during the lock down. So, I’ve decided to share with you one of my favorite salads that was inspired by Houston’s Restaurant.
The original date on this recipe was 1992. I had just lunched at Houston’s and my entrée came with a couscous side salad—it was delicious. I asked our server if he could get a copy of the recipe from the chef. He took down my address (we didn’t have email in those days) and about a week later I got a handwritten recipe in the mail. Over the years I added two ingredients—chopped peanuts and lemon zest. The peanuts added a little texture and the lemon zest gave it a vibrant citrus halo. Yummmm!
What is couscous, you ask? Couscous is a word that comes from the classical Arabic word0 “kouscous” (pronounced in English as /kuskus/) and from the Berber word “kseksu,” that designates both the durum wheat semolina and the traditional dish of which it is the main ingredient. However, some think that the word “couscous” could be derived from the classical Arabic word “kaskash” (to pound small), that means crushing and grinding.
Actually, couscous is a Berber word and pasta dish. As such, it’s funny to hear several rumors about couscous history and how it might have originated in China—it didn’t.
Utensils required to make the delicious semolina-based dish date back to the 7th century. The first written evidence of its existence was found in an Andalucian-Moroccan cookbook from the 13th century (thank you Wiki). While some think the origin of couscous is unclear, there is archaeological evidence its origins are in well-rooted in eastern to northern Africa, and that Berbers ate couscous by packing the it in the tips of their fingers. If you want to be invited back, use a fork.
For the couscous salad dressing
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1-1/4 cups fresh lemon juice
1-3/4 cups yogurt, low fat or no fat
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups lite olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the couscous salad
2 cups prepared (cooked) traditional couscous
1/2 cup grated red radish
3 tablespoons confetti-cut carrot
2 tablespoons scallions tops, circles
1/2 cup chopped tomato
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1/2 to 3/4 cups couscous dressing
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon lemon zest
For the couscous salad dressing
ChefSecret: When making a salad dressing or marinade always add the oil in last. That gives the herbs and spices a chance to blossom before being sealed by the oil. The leftover salad dressing works well on any green salad as well.
#Couscous #Houstons #Salads #Entrees #PerspectivesTheConsultingGroup #QuarantineKitchen #Covid19 #ComfortFoods
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