Dear SOS: At Mendocino Farms, they make this incredible cold couscous salad that’s out-of-this-world yummy. I don’t usually like couscous, but there is something great about this cold yet tangy summer salad. If possible, could you track it down? — Doris Perl, Sherman Oaks, California
Dear Doris: Even if we haven’t formally hit summer just yet, this brightly colourful and refreshing couscous salad from Mendocino Farms is a perfect way to celebrate warmer spring weather. – Los Angeles Times/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
1 (450g) box Israeli couscous or orzo
1 head cauliflower, florets broken into pieces
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1½ teaspoons salt, more to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, more to taste
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, more to taste
3 tablespoons oil
2 small carrots, peeled, finely diced
1 cup vegan mayonnaise (or mayonnaise)
½ bunch coriander, chopped
½ lime, juiced
Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the package. Rinse in cold water, drain well, put in a bowl and set aside. Heat the oven to 225°C.
In a separate bowl, toss the cauliflower with the curry powder, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, salt, cayenne, brown sugar and oil. Spread out on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven until cauliflower is browned around the edges but still crunchy, about 10 minutes. Remove just the cauliflower and put it in the bowl with the pasta.
On the same rimmed baking sheet, place the carrots and, using a spatula, toss the carrots with the leftover spices and oil. Roast the carrots until brown around the edges but still crunchy, about 8 minutes. (If you find that the spices and oil are a little overly browned from roasting the cauliflower, toss the carrots using the same proportion of new spices, salt, sugar and oil.) Add to the couscous.
Fold in the vegan mayonnaise, coriander and lime juice with the pasta. Taste, and adjust spices and seasoning if desired. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.