Thursday, January 12, 2012

RECIPE - Kisir Salad (Salada Kisir)

This salad makes a light and refreshing side dish for a grilled piece of meat, chicken or fish on those days when it's just too hot to cook (which, in many parts of Brazil, is almost any day of the year). Made with couscous, served at room temperature or slightly chilled, it is substantial enough to stand as a meal's carbohydrate, yet light enough not to overstuff diners. It also obviates the need to serve a side dish and a salad as it functions as both.

What most of the rest of the world considers garden-variety couscous is known in Brazil as Moroccan couscous (cuzcuz marroquinho). Brazilians have to add the term Moroccan because cuzcuz plain and simple asmade in Brazil is fabricated not from wheat but from corn. (Click here for more information about Brazilian cuzcuz.)

In addition to its other virtues, this salad is very quick and easy to make. Since spending a lot of time in the kitchen is something that one tends not to want to do on a hot day, it's just one more reason that makes this salad a perfect summer-time treat. (For readers of this blog who are suffering through a wintry January, save the recipe for next summer!)
RECIPE - Kisir Salad (Salada Kisir)
Serves 4

1 1/4 cup (200 gr) dry quick-cook couscous
3/4 cup (200 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup (200 ml) water
pinch of salt
3 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
8 oz (200 gr) mixed baby salad greens
diced green onion, to taste
salt and fresh-ground black pepper
Put the dry couscous in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle half of the olive oil over, then mix well with a fork to cover all the grains. Let rest 5 minutes.

Bring the water, with a pinch of salt added, to the boil, then pour over the couscous. Mix briefly then let stand until the couscous is cool. Toss with a fork to loosen the grains.

When the couscous is cool, mix in the tomato and peppers. Mould in ring molds if desired (as in photo), or mound on salad plates. Top with the mixed salad greens, then sprinkle the remaining olive oil over all. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe translated and adapted from Gula magazine.

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