COUSCOUS WITH CHICK PEAS & NUTS
Sizzle, Sensational Barbecue Food
by Julie Biuso
Try this with simple grilled meat dishes or as part of an all-vegetable meal.
• 2 yellow bell peppers (capsicums)
• 5 ounces (about 150g) "instant" (quick-cooking) couscous
• 1 cup (about 200ml) boiling water
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 2 ounces (50g) unsalted cashews
• 1 1/2 ounces (about 35g) flaked almonds
• 1/4 tsp ground cumin seeds
• 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
• 1/2 cup (about100g) cooked or canned chick peas
• 2 Tbsp raisins
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 Tbsp lemon juice
• 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leafed parsley or coriander
• 2 Tbsp chopped mint
• 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered, if large)
1. Cook peppers over medium heat on a barbecue grill rack until blackened, turning them with tongs. When outer skin is charred, transfer them to a plate and let cool. Peel off blackened skins, rinsing your hands as you do this, but don't put peppers under running water or you'll rinse away the flavor. Cut peppers in half, remove cores and seeds, reserving juices, and cut flesh into strips. Alternatively, cook peppers in the hot coals of a barbecue grill, or in the oven. To cook them in the oven, put peppers on a rack in an oven preheated to 400°F (200°C) and cook for about 20 minutes or until peppers are blistered and charred. Transfer to a bowl, cover and when cool enough to handle, peel off blackened skins and discard cores and seeds. Chop peppers into strips and set aside with the juices. (Peppers can be roasted 1 day before required; cover and refrigerate.)
2. Put couscous in a bowl and add boiling water. Stir once, then cover with a plate and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover again and let cool.
3. Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat and add nuts. Cook, stirring often, until lightly golden. Transfer nuts to a plate.
4. Add spices to skillet and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in chick peas and raisins and cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
5. Add lemon juice, parsley, mint, peppers and cherry tomatoes to couscous. Toss well. Stir in spicy chick pea mixture, garnish with nuts, and serve.