I got a call yesterday from a friend of my Mother's. Would I help her with a luncheon that she would be having at her home? Of course, I was ecstatic about this event, because it is my undying dream to own a small cafe and cater small affairs like this one. She wanted the menu to be light and healthy, but unique in it's presentation. I immediately went to my kitchen and got busy.
This was my moment and I stared eagerly at my pantry. My eyes scanned and my mind started developing the menu. I came across a box of Couscous and knew that I wanted to include this in the luncheon menu.
Couscous is one of those deliciously versatile ingredients that can be served as a side dish, a salad, a main course and EVEN a dessert. Depending on your recipe, it can be sweet, savory, spicy, or (heck) all of the above. One big problem with Couscous is the presentation! It can be colorful, robust and dense in flavor, but served in a bowl it really isn't a "sight to behold." That brings me to the "Edible Pepper Bowl."
Explosively Colorful Couscous in a Edible Pepper Bowl
1 box Couscous, flavor of your choice
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup mushrooms
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 small cucumber, diced
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste
4 fresh yellow peppers
Prepare couscous according to directions. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and add carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook until crisp tender. Remove to a bowl of ice water, cool and drain. Saute mushrooms until they are golden brown. Add couscous, all veggies, beans, and cucumber and gently mix. Add feta cheese, juice of the lime, cilantro to your taste (I use a lot because this is my favorite herb), salt and pepper. Cut each pepper in half and remove seeds. Mound the couscous in the small edible pepper bowls and garnish with additional cilantro. To serve, drizzle with a small amount of olive oil.
I am definitely going to serve these with a side of soup. To make the soup presentation unique, I am bringing out my collection of small coffee cups ( I have about one hundred.) Considering that my recipe collection does includes about a million soup recipes, I better get busy figuring out what soup would be perfect with this couscous!