I never used to like couscous, it was just too boring. This is an adaptation of a recipe that my mum makes, and it really is amazing. She would serve it with a roasted Portobello mushroom on top (see mushroom burger post). This makes a really fantastic appetiser or entrée for a slightly pretentious dinner party. This is a really easy thing to make, the ingredients are cheap and it will accompany many different middle-eastern style stew-y things. Please be aware that all these quantities are very approximate.
· 75g almonds, roughly chopped (I blanch and chop them myself, as its cheaper to buy them in their skins. To blanch them, simply put them in some boiling water for 5-10 minutes, and the skin will peel off very easily. The skin is quite bitter and not suitable for this recipe, so make sure you peel them, or buy them already blanched). You could also use pine kernels.
· 150g couscous
· 1 medium onion (red if you have it) diced
· zest and juice of half a lemon, or a whole one if you like it very lemony.
· Handful chopped parsley
· 3 tablespoons sultanas, or a mixture of sultanas and apricots
Boil the kettle. Put the couscous in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover plus about 1 – 2 cm. Fry onion until soft and starting to colour (see polenta post), add the almonds and let colour. Then add the lemon zest, juice, dried fruit and parsley, and warm everything through. By this stage, the couscous should have absorbed all of the water. Run a fork through it until its fluffy, and then mix it together with the lemony mixture, and keep warm until you are ready to eat it. Yum yum.