Potluck winner: cheap, easy couscous dish for your potluck

Potluck as a concept is wonderful: everyone bring along a plate of whatever you feel like bringing and we'll all dine together. If we all bring ambrosia and profiteroles, so be it! A dinner of desserts is not necessarily a bad thing at all! More often than not, however, the potluck idea can become a very stressful experience, with much of the day leading up to the event being a time of fretting and panicking about what to throw together for a plate. Do we go overboard and bring an entire roast to contribute? Or do we go simple and bring a few breads and dips? Well, I think I have mastered the potluck contributory plate with my fresh, summery couscous, which I have presented at not one, not two, but four potluck events now. It's incredibly simple and cost-effective, and I'm going to share my little wonder with you — even though I am super protective of the very few dishes I have come up with myself ...

First of all, there's no real strict amount of everything as it's all up to your specific palate. My version is completely vegan and consists of just couscous, parsley, tomato, cucumber, and lemon juice. I'm a HUGE one-pot fan. I literally recoil at a recipe that asks me to prepare elements in several different pots and pans, so this creation uses one pot, a chopping board, and a knife — and that's it.

In your pot, pour in the amount of water that correlates to the amount of couscous you need to make (i.e. for three cups of couscous, put three cups of water into a pot), throw in a few tablespoons of oil (I went with three to match the number of cups of water), then add salt (I went with two teaspoons) — as you can tell, this whole process is very flexible. Heat the water until it starts boiling, then take it off the heat and throw in your couscous. Pop a lid on it and let it do its thing for two to three minutes.

While that's expanding, chop up your tomatoes, cucumber, and parsley into chunks of your preferred size (I tend to use cherry tomatoes so I only have to cut them into quarters and they don't separate as much — sloppy tomatoes are just not what I'm about).

When you've finished doing that, your couscous will be ready to pop into your serving bowl. Just give it a bit of a stir with a fork to separate the couscous pearls. Give your lemon juice a bit of a squirt into the couscous and give it another stir around. I tend to walk away for a little while at this point to let the couscous cool down a bit. I prefer to serve my dish cold. Once you've left it to cool for a bit, come back and throw in your cucumber, tomatoes, and parsley. Give it a stir, and ta-da! You're done. In the end your couscous creation could look a little bit like this:

 
 

If you give this a go, let me know what you think in the comments! 

Lara WyattComment