I feel inspired to write and post the recipe for this salad for two reasons. Christmas is just around the corner and this salad has featured heavily on our Christmas lunch table since our early days in Newcastle. Secondly I have just been to visit my elderly mother who has been unwell for many years, and as she struggles with the grip of dementia taking hold of her remarkable mind, this salad brings fond memories of family get togethers and flavours long shared between us. This couscous salad has been a favourite of hers and one that I made for her each Christmas. Mum always loved the flavours of the Middle East, pungent with cumin and coriander seeds, ginger and garlic. Although her mind may not remember now, she still has a sense of taste and smell which brings her memories back to me. Mum was always at her best around Christmas time, feverishly slaving away in the kitchen making a wonderful spread of food for her family and friends. Over the coming weeks I will try and post a few more of her favourite recipes as an ode to her and her love of Christmas.
So to the recipe for CousCous Salad. This recipe was originally shared with me by a fellow health professional over 20 years ago. She made the salad for one of our themed dinners and I can only assume this one was a Moroccan theme. I believe the original recipe came from a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and although I don’t have the original, I have copied this recipe for many friends and family to enjoy. It is a true crowd pleaser and feeds that said crowd with leftovers aplenty (perfect for Boxing Day!). It can also be made well ahead of time and just add the dressing at the last minute. I tend to make the dressing in a screw top jar, so it is ready for a shake and pour. The salad travels well for the family BBQ’s and develops flavours over a few days (if it lasts). In terms of Christmas, it looks the festive part if you choose to use the colourful capsicums and can be a wonderful accompaniment to most of the necessary baked meats and glazed hams.
I do hope you enjoy this salad and can add it to your own repertoire and family traditions. It has served me and my family particularly well and will always provide a smile on my face when I think of mum consuming copious amounts of this salad with her ham on Christmas day.
Merry Christmas everyone!!