Does anybody else find it a little strange that salads are generally at their best when their creator has played a little loose and fast with the definition of the term? A salad is fairly stringently defined as something made with raw vegetables, though the Americans would have it that tuna mixed with mayonnaise should be described as a salad. Yet, there have been countless instances, this being one of them, where there is no better word to describe what one is eating. Perhaps the title of this recipe ought to be suffixed with the phrase, ‘for want of a better term’.
This may appear to be a rather simple salad and indeed it is, but rather a lot of deliberation was required to perfectly balance its flavours. When using whole spices one would usually, though not always, dry toast them in the pan before grinding them into a powder. However, this didn’t appear to me to be the best course of action, since doing so would have overpowered the other flavours. Indeed, the walnuts would have been rendered very nearly useless, confined to the lowly position of ‘crunch provider’. Such a cruel fate should not be pushed upon any ingredient, let alone the much-loved walnut. So, without further ado, please enjoy my ‘for want of a better term’ salad
Caraway and Cumin Couscous Salad
• 100g couscous, giant if possible
• 2 tsp cumin seeds
• 2 tsp caraway seeds
• 2 handfuls of walnuts, roughly crushed
• A handful of chopped parsley
• A handful of chopped coriander
• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, cider vinegar or lemon juice
• Salt, pepper and olive oil
1. Toast the cumin and caraway seeds in a little olive oil until they begin to pop. Add the garlic before stirring in the cooked couscous. Fold in the walnuts, parsley and coriander before seasoning and drizzling with a little more olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.
Cost: These sorts of very simple, quick meals tend to be extremely cheap and this one is no exception. The entire dish, which is surprisingly filling, should set one back no more than 60-70p.