This Sicilian tuna and cous cous salad is the perfect tuck in and share dish for friends. From Skye McAlpine’s beautiful new cookery book, A Table For Friends
IMAGE: SKYE McALPINE
If you were being pedantic, you would cook couscous in a couscoussière, a Moroccan clay pot in which you slowly steam the grains over a bubbling stew. The way I do it is rather less romantic and utterly inauthentic, but it is quick and convenient without compromising either on the flavour or the delightful fluffy texture of the cooked grains.
You could of course serve couscous plain, dressed with a little oil and lemon juice, even a smattering of aromatic spice – cinnamon, nutmeg and so forth – to go with pretty much anything. But, inspired by the way they cook it in Sicily, I throw in salty caper berries, a good tin of oily, almost meaty tuna and sweet aniseedy fennel. This makes for a vibrant centrepiece more than substantial enough to serve on its own.
Sicilian Cous Cous Salad
- 300 g couscous
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 400 ml boiling water
- 70 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 20 g flaked almonds
- 10-12 caper berries halved
- 1 small fennel bulb finely sliced
- 400 g tinned tuna drained
- a handful of rocket
- juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- Pour the couscous into a large heatproof bowl. Dissolve the stock cube in the measured boiling water, then pour the boiling stock over the grains, cover and set aside for 10–15 minutes to swell up.
- When all the liquid has been absorbed, use a fork to fluff up the grains, then douse generously with one-third of the oil. Now add the almonds, caper berries and fennel and toss everything together well.
- Add the tuna, breaking it up with a fork and mixing it through the salad. This will happily keep for a day in the fridge.
- Lastly throw in the rocket (if it sits in the dressing, it will wilt). Squeeze in the juice of the lemon and dress with what is left of the oil. Toss again and add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe is taken from A Table For Friends: The Art of Cooking for Two or Twenty, by Skye McAlpine. Published by Bloomsbury.
*The Home Page earns a small commission through purchases made via the above link
Share this recipe with friends and followers using the share buttons at the top of the page and discover more tempting recipes below…