Saturday, May 15, 2010

Salad for Dinner

Here is a wonderful salad that I often serve warm as a main course for dinner. Make variations to suit your tastes- omit the olives, alter the type of onion or sausage; don't be afraid to improvise. I usually leave off the salad dressing as I think its packed full of flavour without it.

"Paella" Couscous Salad 

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Active Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 1/2 hr


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb Spanish chorizo (or other sausage), cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup finely chopped shallot
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 lb medium shrimp in shell (26), peeled and deveined
3/4 lb sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side of each if necessary, halved crosswise (quartered if large)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 (10-oz) box couscous (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 large red bell pepper, finely diced
1 cup coarsely chopped drained pimiento-stuffed green olives (5 oz)
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Accompaniment: lemon wedges


Make salad:
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté chorizo and shallot, stirring, until chorizo is golden brown on edges, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, scraping out skillet with a rubber spatula.

Bring broth and wine to a boil in a 2 1/2-quart saucepan and cook shrimp, covered, until just cooked through, about 45 seconds. Transfer shrimp with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Bring liquid in saucepan back to a boil and cook scallops, covered, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer scallops with slotted spoon to bowl with shrimp and pour any liquid accumulated in bowl back into pan. Add lemon juice to seafood, then add salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Put couscous in a metal bowl. Reserve 1 3/4 cups cooking liquid in saucepan and discard remainder. Add saffron and bring liquid to a boil and pour over couscous. Let stand, covered tightly with plastic wrap, 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork and add to chorizo. Stir in peas, bell pepper, olives, and seafood and toss to combine.

Make dressing:
Blend lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a blender until smooth and pour over seafood salad, tossing to combine well. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature to allow couscous to absorb dressing.

Stir in parsley and season salad with salt and pepper.

Cooks' note:
· Salad can be made (without parsley) 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature and stir in parsley just before serving.

Source - 
Gourmet | July 2002

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