squid and couscous

Trust me on this one, the picture didn’t do it justice. It’s a lot easier to do than you might think.

1/2 pound of squid with tubes and tentacles. Your fish guy will appreciate that you’re buying the cheapest thing they sell and trying to do something with it.
small handful of pistachio nuts
1/2 to 1 cup of Isreali couscous
cherry tomatoes, small pint
red wine vinaigrette
flat leaf parsley for garnish

1. Cut the tubes into strips that look like pasta rings. Leave the tentacles intact.
2. Quick sautee the pistachios in neutral oil, don’t burn them. Let em cool and smash to bits in a plastic bag.
3. Cut up the cherry tomatoes into quarters or whatever you want for bite size.
4. Simmer the couscous until tender. How much you add depends on how much squid you used.
5. Cook the squid. You have several options, I just poached it in salty water with a pat of butter until it was tender, at low temperature. They’ll go from translucent to white and then they’ll tenderize. You can sautee or grill, but it’s a little messier and another step. If you can figure out a way to get some char on it (eg. blow torch) that would be great, just don’t overcook or it will be tough.
6. Combine with a red wine vinaigrette as the sauce base (3:1 oil to vinegar, salt and a little mustard to make it easier to emulsify).
7. Mix the squid with the tomatoes, vinaigrette, and couscous. After you mix the ingredients, garnish the top with parsley and the toasted pistachios and serve it up.

The key to a salad like this is balance of ingredients. This is a squid dish with couscous, not the other way around. I personally prefer the Israeli variety couscous, because it’s a little bigger; alternatively you could use quinoa or bulgur wheat if you wanted grain instead of pasta. Serve with some grilled bread and nice white wine….

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