It’s odd how we all find different things appealing. I was doing some meal planning (well, attempting it) recently and speaking to my brother he mentioned a couple of recipes from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals. I’ve got the book sitting on my shelves (it was a gift I think for reasons which will become clear) so I thought I’d browse through and see what appealed. And sadly nothing really did. I’m sure if I looked hard enough there would be thinks I’d want to make, if only in adapted form but my overall feeling as I closed the book again was not one of inspiration. But I totally understand that Jamie appeals to many people with that book. I have other books of his that I find contain lots and lots of things I want to make, it’s just this particular book…
On the other hand, I seem to want to make every other recipe from Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Veg Every Day book. This one was the result of scrabbling round for something interesting to eat one lunchtime. I had most of the ingredients available (which probably reflects the amount of food in my cupboards at the moment!) apart from parsley, which in the interests of trying new things and attempting to follow the recipe I went and bought.
Moroccan Couscous Salad (inspired by Veg Every Day, HFW)
Place 40g couscous, 10g raisins, 1/8tsp each cinnamon, cumin and coriander (or to taste) and 45g drained weight chickpeas in a bowl. Pour over 60g boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes (or follow the instructions on your packet of couscous – this is what mine said). Add 1 chopped large tomato, a good squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley along with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine, then serve.
A quick and easy (vegan) lunch. I quite liked the combination of spices (I’m certain that I used to hate cumin, perhaps I’m becoming accustomed to it very gradually) and the tomato added a nice freshness. I don’t think I like parsley at all, which is such a pity because it makes the salad look so pretty! Chickpeas are fairly neutral but my favourite part was definitely the raisins. Which probably goes to show I have an irredeemably sweet tooth!
I can see this being really adaptable. Next time I’d drop the parsley or at least use less of it and leave it in bigger chunks so I could pick it out if I still didn’t like it (I’m such a child sometimes) but I think roasted peppers would go well and perhaps preserved lemon as well to stick with the Moroccan theme. Perhaps I could try adding mint rather than parsley and see if I preferred that!
I think this salad is suitable for a couple of blog challenges this month…. Cooking with herbs at Lavender and Lovage. The theme is garlic/chives for May and June but any herbs are welcome so I hope this recipe will be accepted! Also No Croutons Required hosted alternately by Jac of Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen. Jac is hosting for June.