Paradise Patio Party Couscous Recipe

Paradise, California. 

There is such a place. It's just off Highway 395 nestled in at 5,200 feet. I've been to a few patio parties there in the last couple years. For this party, I prepared a couscous salad, along with my tri-tip beef skewers. 

Here's the recipe for the couscous salad:

Cooked Couscous
4 cups Couscous
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup olive oil
Follow package instructions for the cooking of the couscous.

After couscous is cooked, let cool on an oiled large sheet tray so that the couscous can be worked over by hand. Using your hands (kitchen gloves make this easier and less messy), make sure the couscous is coated in the olive oil. Break up any clumps of couscous with your hands. This will prevent it from clumping up later if you are making your couscous in advance and it sits. Couscous should be “light and fluffy” not clumpy and starchy. 

For the dressing
1 small handful of fresh mint, chiffonade
4 red bell peppers, minced
10 green onions, minced
½ cup Olive oil
½  cup Rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout (to be found at places like Trader Joe’s and Cost Plus)
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all the dressing ingredients in a large bowl and allow ingredients to marinate together for an hour. This will help soften the edge of the bell peppers and green onions.

Combine Couscous and Dressing

Combine the cooled couscous and the dressing together in the large bowl. You can serve immediately or hold for a couple hours at room temperature.

If I may be so bold, grilled tri tip skewers and couscous salad pair really well with my Cabernet Cuvee. Yes, that is a picture of several red wines kept cool on ice. It's 100 degrees in Paradise at 5pm in the summer, I wouldn't want to drink my red wine either if it were "room temperature"!