Friday, 5 July 2013

What's for lunch today? Couscous, pumpkin and prawn salad

Here's a good idea: a couscous, pumpkin and prawn salad (by Laura Vichera) For the salad you'll need 350g of cous-cous (cuscús, normal or wholemeal); 300 g of nice big prawns (gambas, though not necessarily the very large expensive ones), a large slice of orange pumpkin (calabaza); 2 small spring onions (cebolleta); 1 red pepper (pimiento rojo); and a few saffron strands (hebras de azafrán). For the dressing: several mint (hierbabuena or menta, two different varieties of mint) and coriander (cilantro or culantro) leaves; a pinch of Paprika (pimentón); Tabasco; a few drops of raspberry vinegar (vinagre de frambuesa, though another kind can be used); freshly ground salt and black pepper; olive oil. Here's what you do:>>>In a large bowl, place the couscous, a pinch of salt, the black pepper, the saffron and a few drops of water to moisten. Put aside to hydrate while you prepare the rest.

Chop the mint and coriander leaves very finely. Place in a bowl with the remaining ingredients for the dressing, except the olive oil, which you pour into the mixture very slowly, stirring gently with a wooden spoon until it emulsifies well. Set aside at room temperature.

Using a medium melon ball maker (though nice cubes will look as good), make balls from the pumpkin. Clean the red pepper of seeds and cut into small cubes. Chop the spring onions into similar-sized pieces and mix in with the red pepper.

Cook the couscous in the microwave at max. for only 5 minutes, then mix in a little butter or oil until it loosens. Leave to cool.

In a frying pan, heat a few drops of olive oil and sauté over high heat the pumpkin cubes until  they're light brown. Remove onto a plate and use the oil to sauté the prawns.

To finish, mix the couscous with red pepper and spring onion, add the pumpkin and prawns when they're cold, and dress with the -yes- dressing.  Mix gently and allow to rest at room temperature until ready to serve.


Janine Kavanagh said...

Hi Alberto - good to see you've been inspired by Masterchef! I think the couscous needs more than a few drops of water - its usually equal ml to g, so I would guess that your recipe needs 350ml. Usually its Ok just to pour on boiling water (depends on the brand) cover and leave to stand - no need to microwave.

PROSPERO said...

Thanks for that, Jan! Never ever cooked couscous in my life, so just follow instructions from them what know better. A thought, though, might they not mean already cooked couscous? Anyway, give it a try and tell me all about it (this is known as the easy way out).