Before we officially say goodbye to the summer I wanted to share a recipe I have enjoyed a few times this season. It is such an easy, light and very fresh dish that has satisfied me on hot summer nights and been perfect to bring as a lunch for the beach next day.
As you might have observed I do love the versatile cauliflower. I think it is the perfect vegetable that can be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. It can transformed into a pizza crust, wraps, ‘rice’ pudding, falafels, souffl ©s and most importantly into a nutrition improved awesome version of plain white rice!
In this recipe I am getting very close the resemblance of rice, we are just taking it to the next level and making a couscous out of the beautiful white and green hooded veggie. It is in its raw and mild presentation paired with the glorious middle eastern ingredients we normally see in a mixed couscous salad.
Since we want the last flavours and atmosphere of summer I wanted to add something grilled from the barbecue. Normally I use dried apricots in my couscous salad but when I saw these fresh orange beauties at the market I knew that they would be the perfect grilled element in this salad. You could easily just use the raw fruit if you are not up for barbecuing or simply the dried version or even another type of seasonal fruit.
This salad could be a meal on its own but for a change I wanted to show you which type of meat I do like to serve up with my crunchy salads. Stuffed and serrano wrapped chicken are one of my absolute favourites. I stuff it with all kinds of cheese from blue cheese to goats cheese, whatever suits your meal, and it always gets so very tender and moist. If you love meat try it!!
But meat eater, vegetarian or just food-obsessed this meal is a winner, grain free, paleo friendly and very simple :)
Cauliflower couscous w. grilled apricots and served w. serrano wrapped chicken
Cauliflower couscous w. grilled abricots
1 small head cauliflower (500-600 g)
1/2 bundle basil leaves
1/2 bundle parsley or coriander leaves
1/2 bundle mint leaves
100 g soft feta cheese, crumbled
100 g salty pistachios, chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 mature apricots (honey + coconut oil)
Vanilla & Lemon dressing
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp ground vanilla
A pinch of salt
Serrano wrapped & feta stuffed chicken
4 chicken breast
4 slices of serrano ham
50 g feta cheese
Butter or coconut oil
Extra: garlic and fresh herbs
Prepare the couscous salad by grating the cauliflower by hand or chop it using a food processor. Coarsley chop all the herbs and mix herbs and cauliflower together in a large bowl. Add red onion, feta cheese and pistachio nuts, reserve a bit for serving. Mix all ingredients for the dressing and pour it into the salad, gently fold the salad until evenly mixed.
Heat a grill, a grill pan or even a regular pan. Cut apricots in halves, remove the stone and rub a little coconut oil and sugar into them. Grill the apricots until tender.
Rub the chicken breast in coconut oil and grill (or fry) the chicken breast briefly on each side on very high heat until golden and remove. Cut a deep pocket into each chicken breast and stuff it with feta cheese and maybe a few fresh herbs or a little garlic. Wrap each breast in one pieces of serrano ham and roast them in the grill under a lit or in the oven at 200 °C/ 400 °F for 10-20 min.
Serve the couscous topped with grilled apricots and the chicken on the side.