Saturday, February 14, 2009

Chicken sausage and couscous salad

Hello everyone, I had fun today. I had arranged to take out my nieces for a few hours during the day. Being such a cold and wet day my thoughts turned to pizza, so I thought I'd take them to Rosso Pomodoro at Balmain. No go - they don't like pizza anymore. They did last time I looked, but there was no interest in going out for pizza. As they do currently love sushi, I took them to a sushi train instead. Emma, the nearly ten year old managed two pieces of sushi and decided she was full. But Rachael, the seven year old, completely embraced the whole sushi train concept. She loved it! She matched me plate for plate, studied the menu to confirm what she thought she was grabbing from the conveyor belt, and commented a couple of times "I could stay here all afternoon watching all these dishes go around!" So there is now an expectation that she and I are going to try out every sushi train we can find in Sydney. Only the good ones of course!

This week's recipe is a great cold dish which early subscribers to my email recipe service might remember seeing. It is great for entertaining as it makes a huge quantity, and with the chicken sausages kids love it. It certainly has all my favourite flavours in it with the lemon and mint and green olives. The recipe comes from my Womens Weekly Salads cookbook, which has been the source of many good, substantial salads for me. I have a note to myself with the recipe that the Womens Weekly test kitchen must have invited in people to try out this salad who had ENORMOUS appetites as according to them it serves four, and by my reckoning it easily serves eight very generously. See what you think.

Have a happy week. Love from Jane xxx

Chicken sausage and couscous salad

Serves between four and eight, or maybe more, you be the judge

What you need:
· 8 thick chicken sausages
· 1 ½ cups chicken stock
· 1 ½ cups couscous
· 1/3 cup finely chopped preserved lemon rind
· 1 medium red capsicum, sliced thinly (or chopped, your preference)
· 300g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
· 1 cup seeded large green olives, halved lengthways
· 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
· 1/3 cup lemon juice
· 1/3 cup olive oil

What you do:
1. Cook the sausages however you like – I usually stick them in the oven for half an hour and they come up beautifully. When cooked, slice them thinly.
2. Meanwhile, bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, stir in the couscous and cover. Stand for about five minutes or until the stock is absorbed, then fluff up the couscous with a fork.
3. Place the sausages and couscous in a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss gently to combine.