Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Barley couscous recipe

Delicious Barley Couscous recipe

I'm pointing out a barley couscous recipe for a change because not everybody realizes this but ordinary couscous is made from durum wheat. Essentially, it's a type of pasta. Now modern dieticians recommend that you don't eat pasta more than 2 or three times a week so if you've already had spaghetti one day, lasagne another and then fancy couscous the next well, what do you do? One solutions, and this is great for people with wheat allergies, is barley couscous. Barley couscous has an interesting slightly nutty flavor which just adds another great alternative to wild rice, quinoa, wheat couscous and so on. This recipe comes from Belazu, the people who make barley couscous and also an excellent though rather mild rose harrissa.

Barley Couscous, Beetroot & Feta Salad
Serves 4

* 1 large raw beetroot
* 2 smallish red onions, finely sliced
* 60ml lemon juice (about 1 juicy lemon) or any white vinegar (ie cider, rice or white wine vinegar)
* ½ tsp caster sugar
* 250g Belazu Barley Couscous
* 1 tsp Maldon salt (or 1/3 tsp fine salt)
* a generous grinding of black pepper
* 2 handfuls of flat parsley leaves
* 150g feta, crumbled
* 50ml extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Wrap the beetroot tightly in foil and bake in the oven for 90 minutes, until a sharp knife can be pushed through it easily. Remove from the oven; peel off the foil and leave to cool.

Toss the onions with the lemon juice and sugar and leave them in the fridge for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, put the couscous in a bowl and pour on enough cold water to barely cover, add the salt and pepper and mix well. After 5 minutes, when the couscous will have absorbed all the water, add 125ml of hot water and mix well to fluff it up.
Peel the beetroot – the skin can usually be rubbed off, but use a paring knife if it’s being too difficult. Cut into chunks and add to the couscous. Toss in the onions and lemon juice, the parsley, half the feta and the olive oil. Mix everything together and divide among 4 plates, then sprinkle the remaining feta on top.