I am on holidays in Brasil in Paraty, which is a beautiful colonial UNESCO Heritage Site on the coast between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Having lived here for 5 years makes me come back to see and spend some time with my friends. We are only... 26 on holidays together - 8 couples and the rest all children. When we come back from the beach we each take turns to make dinner. Every other day i go to the local food stalls and pick fresh vegetables and fruit and I had a chance to make a couscous salad with a wide variety of fresh produce. I made the couscous as a big salad and served it cold with grilled vegetables and fruit. I picked a HUGE banana leaf (I posted the photo of our group arriving from the beach and me with my banana leaf) and served the Couscous on it - it looked really pretty and fresh. But my camera ran out of battery before I could take the photo of the finished dish so all I have left is the photo I took of the ingredients before I started cooking. I'll try downloading a picture a friend took of the dish afterwards. —Maria Teresa Jorge
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
egg plants in slices and grilled
zucchinis in slices and grilled
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for grilled vegetables
cucmbers cut in small cubes
mangos cut in medium cubes
cilantro leafs chopped roughly
young spring onions thinly sliced (white and green part)
cashews without salt chopped roughly
orange in juice
lime only zest
inch of fresh ginger grated
pepper freshly ground
garlic clove - green inner part removed
mango juice (from squeezing the stone and the fruit around it)
Put the couscous in a deep tray. Boil the water with a little salt. Pour the boiling water on top, stir and set aside for 5 minutes (or follow instructions on your package). Fluff up with a fork, allow to cool ann add the olive oil and fluff with your fingers until all granules are seperated.
Cut the eggplant in slices and put them in a bowl of cold water.
Cut the zucchini in slices and pat dry with a kitchen tea towel.
Grill all the zucchini slices and put in a plate. Allow to cool and cut in large pieces. Drizzle with 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle a little salt, freshly ground pepper and mix well.
Drain the egg plant and dry the slices very well in a kitchen towel. Grill them and put in a plate. Allow to cool and cut in large pieces. Drizzle with 1 or 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle a little salt, freshly ground pepper and mix well.
Wash the cucumber and dry. Cut in quarters lenghtwise and then in medium thick slices. Put in a colander and allow to drain.
Peel the mangoes, cut in medium size cubes. Squeeze the left over mango around the stone to get all the juice left from the fruit to get about 1/2 cup.
For the sauce: In a blender add the orange juice, mango juice, the grated ginger, honey, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic cut up in 4 pieces and blend until smooth. Add the yoghurt and blend. With the blender running, add zest of lime and the olive oil in a drizzle. Add salt and freshly ground pepper and check seasoning. Cover and chill.
Put the cooked couscous in a big salad bowl. Add the grilled vegetables, the cooked chickpeas, half the cashews and toss to mix well. Add half the cilantro,2/3 of the mango, all the carrots and cucumber, the sliced spring onions, and toss gently.
Add half the sauce, toss and mix. Check the seasoning.
Garnish with the remaining mango, cilantro and cashews, pour the remainder sauce over and serve. If you think it's too much sauce, serve on the side in a bowl.