The last few days have been mad. My in-laws are arriving and I have been running around like a cleaning dervish, making sure all exposed and open surfaces are tidy, sparkling and everything that's not required has been willy-nilly shoved into drawers and closets [luckily in-laws are the polite kind, they won't peer into any drawers :-)] Plus the danged cat has been following me around, and everytime I clean a floor or a couch he sits his furry arse on it, or rolls around, leading to a yelling and chasing around with a broom match... sigh!
All this drama and hoo-ha meant that I have barely had enough time to sit down, let alone make any time to cook complicated dishes.
Thankfully, this month's No Croutons Required challenge was a multiple choice one. Jacqueline challenged us to make a soup or a salad from the themes from our birthday months. Mine being in September, I had a choice of Fruit Soup or Salad, Mediterranean Soup or Salad, Corn Soup or Salad. I chose Mediterranean because I could adapt it to our taste.
Turns out, it was a pretty inspired choice. Simply because I was rushing around so much, I actually forgot that the NCR last date is the 20th, not the 27th, as I was thinking. It all worked out though, as I had been to the Old Strathcona Farmer's Market on the weekend, and bought a lovely, fresh, plump aubergine and some sweet long mini bell peppers, which epitomise Mediterranean cuisine.
I threw together this salad, without following any real recipe, after a pretty long and tiring day, so was very pleased at how quick it was to prepare. It was really tasty, and all the flavours went together beautifully, and as a bonus I got some much needed protein into Aditi. All in all, a pretty satisfying end to a busy week.
I probably won't be posting very much for the next couple weeks, but will be back soon after that! Miss me :-)
2 cups couscous
2 cups (500 ml) boiling hot vegetable stock
1 tomato, chopped (or you can throw in some cherry tomatoes)
2 flakes garlic, minced
1 medium aubergine, diced small
2 long sweet red peppers, diced small
1 yellow pepper, diced small
1 cup cooked or drained tinned chickpeas
Handful chopped herbs (I used mint, flat leaf parsley and coriander)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
Small handful raisins (optional)
Cook the couscous according to packet instructions, using the stock instead of water (basically, put the couscous into a deep bowl, add the boiling stock and cover for roughly 5 - 8 minutes. Open, check if the stock is absorbed and the couscous tender, then fluff up with a fork) Keep aside.
In a pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, and saute the garlic and aubergine on a fairly high heat, strring frequently until aubergine is a golden brown colour (around 5 minutes) Transfer to a bowl.
In the same pan, add the remaining olive oil, then add the red and yellow peppers. Again, fry on a fairly high heat, till the skin starts to blister and the peppers are soft.
Add the cooked aubergine, peppers, chickpeas, chopped or cherry tomatoes and herbs to the couscous and stir together, fluffing it all up. Stir in a small handful of raisins if you wish. Taste, and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Serve warm or cold.
This recipe is linked to No Croutons Required hosted by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes.