Summer couscous

Couscous is the basis of much Arab and North African cuisine, but perhaps you didn’t know that it is also deeply rooted in the Italian culinary tradition, especially in western Sicily: for example, the famous couscous festival in San Vito lo Capo in Trapani, which you might have heard of. Couscous is made up of many grains of semolina that are steamed, possibly two or three times. The couscous sold in the supermarket has already been steamed, and all we need to do is add a little boiling water – just read the instructions on the pack, and then you’ll be able to season it to your taste and eat straightaway. From my point of view, couscous is a great alternative to rice or pasta, and lends itself well to the preparation of hot or cold salads. Here's how to make a summer couscous, fresh, tasty and colourful.

Ingredients

  • cous cous 300g of wholewheat couscous
  • cherry tomatoes 300 grams
  • spring onion 1 spring onion
  • parsley 5 grams
  • mint 5 grams
  • cumin 1 gram
  • extra virgin olive oil 30 millilitres
  • vegetable stock 500 millilitres
  • sugar 10 grams
  • salt
Information
60 minutes Total time
30 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

Dice the tomatoes and coarsely slice the spring onion. Chop the mint and parsley and add to the tomato and onion, then dress with salt, sugar, oil and cumin. Prepare the couscous like this: soak the couscous in some of the vegetable stock, salt and a little olive oil for half an hour. The stock should just cover the couscous. When the liquid is absorbed, place the couscous in a terracotta cous cous pot and place over a saucepan with the vegetable stock. Cover with a lid of the right size and boil the stock. In about half an hour the couscous will be cooked in the steam from the stock, taking up all its flavour! Serve the couscous mixed with the tomato salsa.

Tips
The cooking of couscous must be carried out very carefully, steaming more than twice to prevent it from becoming too compacted and, on the contrary, remaining soft to the touch.
Trivia
Couscous is a specialty widespread in North Africa, but also in traditional Sicilian cuisine. In many Arab countries couscous is known as "ta am" which means "food."

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