The Red Folder


Couscous Salad – the way I like to eat it.

This is a look in your cupboard and see what you have kind of salad.  You need dried fruit, nuts, salt, sugar, a brown spice, onion, turmeric, olive oil and couscous. In the approximate proportions below.

  • 175g fine couscous
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • boiling water to cover about 1½ cups
  • 1½ cups dried fruit
  • 1 cup of unsalted nuts – tbsp each of sugar, brown spice and salt
  • 3-4 spring onions (finely dices red or even white onion will work)

Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and stir in the turmeric and salt. Add the oil use your fingers to rub the oil into the couscous until it looks like wet sand.  Pour over the water and cover with a tea towel and leave to 10 minutes.  I use a fork and stir a couple of times if I remember.  When the couscous is cool enough to handle get back in with your hands and break down any lumps with your finger tips, lifting your hands up and letting the grains fall back into the bowl.

While the couscous is doing its thing grab another heatproof bowl and select three handfuls in total (1½ cups) of any of the following dried fruit

currants                 mango                          goji

sultanas                  sour cherries              papaya

dates                       cranberries                 apricots

raisins                      fig                                blueberries

As a general rule two sweet, one sour.  So cranberry, date, golden raisin or apricot, date and cranberry.  Pop your choice into the bowl and cover with boiling water.  I usually pop a tea bag in which makes everyone in the kitchen think I am mental but it adds to the flavor.


Select your nut of choice, almonds and cashews work well, but the humble peanut will do the trick.  Roughly chop and put in a dry frypan with the salt sugar and your choice of brown spice.  I like cinnamon here, but cumin works well, coriander is nice and you can finish with a twist of lemon and fresh coriander herb.  Cook on a moderate heat shaking the pan occasionally until the nuts are turning brown.  Stay with them!!  Drain the dried fruit, throw away the teabag and……



I know you have just made a million choices but you can also finish like this

segment an orange into this salad and squeeze in the juice

cube half a cucumber into it and finish with a blob of Greek yoghurt

knock pomegranit seeds into it and finish with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses

Make a quick dressing this is from one of the Revive Cafe books and drizzle over.

½ tsp salt
1 tbsp cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp honey or date puree
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp crushed chilli I use sweet chilli sauce here if pushed for time.
1 cup oil
¼ cup tepid water
2 tsp cumin seeds (optional)

1. Select a blender, food processor or stick blender
2. Blend all ingredients (except oil, water and seeds)
3 While blending, slowly add oil and then add water at end until desired consistency is reached
4. Mix in cumin seeds




Is anybody out there listening to me??

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