Couscous tabbouleh with dried peaches, goji berries, pistachio nuts, Camembert cheese and cilantro, topped with pumpkin seeds
We love anything that can be made in advance- be it for lunch the next day, or guests that will arrive later. Another big bonus for us, are meals that are easy to prepare, doesn’t take a day before its ready, and anything that doesn’t require you to measure molecule by molecule. In essence, we’re ‘a-handful-of-this-a-handful-of-that’ kind of cooks.
Tabbouleh ticks all of these boxes. It isn’t runny or saucy, so it travels easily without being messy. It keeps well, the flavour combinations and volumes are up to you. You can mix up your grains- bulgur (used in traditional tabbouleh), couscous (What we used for this dish), quinoa, barley or mixed grains.
One of our favourite combinations are dried fruit, nuts and fresh, fragrant herbs. You get quite a bit of mileage out of dried fruit, seeds and nuts, and the textures and flavours are great together. Feel free to swop out fruits and nuts to incorporate all your personal favourites.
- ½ cup couscous
- 125 g camembert round- chilled
- 1 handful dried peaches
- 1 handful shelled pistachios
- 1 handful dried goji berries
- 1 handful fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp mixed herbs for couscous
Cooking the couscous
- In a small saucepan, combine the couscous and mixed herbs. (The herbs are purely for flavour, and you can use the combination of your choice. I tend to use seasoning for vegetables or Italian mixed herbs.)
- Pour enough boiling water into the saucepan, to cover the couscous. Typically the ratio is 1:1, but you can add an additional dash of water if more is needed to submerge the couscous.
- Cover the saucepan, and allow the couscous steam for about 10 minutes.
- Once the couscous is soft (cooked), use a fork to fluff up the couscous.
- Dice the Camembert in 5mm x 5mm cubes. Note: the cooler you keep your cheese, the easier it will be to cut. It sometimes helps to pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to firm it up before slicing.
- Cut dried peaches into 5mm x 5mm cubes. Note: I use kitchen shears instead of a knife. It works really well, and speeds up the process significantly.
- Shell pistachios it they are still in the shell.
- Remove the leaves of the cilantro/ coriander, and discard the stems. (keep some leaves separate for garnish)
- Combine all the ingredients, folding in the cheese in small quantities at a time.
- The cheese will get coated by the couscous, as opposed to forming one giant cheesy blob.
- Transfer to serving bowl.
- Arrange remaining cilantro as garnish.
- This dish can be made in advance- just keep the cilantro/coriander separate until you serve, as the leaves can darken an bruise.