Thursday, June 11, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Curried Couscous

I was a little worried about this months Barefoot Blogger recipes. They are both recipes that I knew would be scary to my wife Lara. This is the first of the scary recipes. I knew it would be scary for several reasons:
  • She doesn't like yogurt.
  • She doesn't like nuts.
  • She doesn't like curry.
  • She doesn't like raisins.
I think that's the whole list but I think that makes more things that she doesn't like than likes in this recipe - not very good odds.

The recipe calls for raisins or dried currents. I have no idea where you would find dried currents so I decided to mix it up a little with dried cranberries. When I went to put everything together Lara sees me and asks if I was going to leave out the dressing, dried cranberries, nuts, and onions for her! I compromised and left out the nuts for her but left everything else.

The salad was a surprise hit. Lara even said it was good. The curry flavor was very muted and wasn't at all scary. There was only a 1/4 cup of yogurt so it was not even noticeable - just added a little moistness. Lara even said the dried cranberries were good in it. I think even though it had a lot of things she would not eat by themselves there was not too much of anything and all the flavors blended very well.

I enjoyed the salad a lot too. I think I will probably have to make it for a picnic or two this summer and see how it goes over. The dried currents sound good but if you can't find them I think the dried cranberries were a nice substitution - and they added a little bit of color.

Thanks to Ellyn of Recipe Tester and Collector for this months selection. It looks this recipe is a family favorite for her - thanks for sharing with all of us.

Curried Couscous
(Source: The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, page 94)
Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup small-diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
  • 1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1/4 cup small-diced red onion
  1. Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature.


karen said...

this recipe really surprised me too, i really wasn't sure i would like it. i've seen a lot of cranberry subs and i think i will try that next time.

Penny said...

I'm glad Lara liked it. This has been one of my favorites for a long time.

Tonya @ What's On My Plate said...

I wasn't sure I would like this recipe either but it totally worked out!

Eva said...

That's impressive, getting her to eat it even though there were so many things she didn't like in it and on top of that, her liking it!

oregonphotography said...

The Barefoot Contessa and anything she cooks is "class". As well....she's class. I don't think she gets her "due". Anyway, thanks for coming by my spot. I want you to know I appreciate that. Best to "The Cooking Dad"!

BBQing Tips From Deep In The Heart Of Oregon

oregonphotography said...

You asked how many barbecues I had.
Well, I am down to three. I did have a Weber that was older than dirt and kicked the bucket. Now, I have a Brinkmann Water Smoker, a Pro-chef Gas Grill and a Traeger.

oregonphotography said...

By the way, it's the one that you are holding in your profile photo that should be grilling the chicken for you today! Happy Fathers' Day!

Suzie said...

I'm impressed that you persevered - for me the best bit about being in Barefoot is being prompted to make things that you would never try otherwise.