Marc taste-tests Catherine on my front balcony.


My friend Marc is flirting with a promising little dish named “Catherine” who’s ingredients include Masters Student In Philosophy, amateur pianist and… vegetarian. (Marc is a carnivore.)


After connecting at a party (where they talked about food) Catherine emailed Marc some of her favourite vegetarian recipes. Marc tried one, loved it, and scheduled a first date.


When I heard about this, I knew it was a “cooking for cock” story. Why? For one, I just love the fact that Catherine flirted with Marc by sending him a recipe she loved — a sample of her in a way.


Curious I decided to try one of Catherine’s vegetarian recipes. She sent Marc four (it takes four seasons, and four recipes, to know a woman) but I chose Catherine’s Flirtatious Couscous Salad because it’s summery and cool. And if this salad is any indication of Catherine’s dating potential,  I think I’m in love.  


That's Marc's hand, stirring Katherine's couscous.

That's Marc's hand, stirring Catherine's couscous.


Flirty Fruity Couscous Salad


Easy to prepare,  cheap, light, low in fat,  the Morroccan seasoning and fruity yumminess give this salad a sexy, exotic kick. Perfect for a romantic picnic or summer barbeque. I paired it with grilled lamp chops one night, and a curry veal sausage another time. Also yummy on its own, for lunch, dinner or picnics.





2 cups Good Stock (I used organic chicken stock since I’m not vegetarian)

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup couscous

1 medium carrot, cut into 1/4 inch dice (or smaller)

1 small red onion, cut into 1/4 inch dice (or smaller) (because I don’t love raw onion, I used 1/4 cup  only)

1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch dice (or smaller)

1 small cucumber or zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 small Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/4 inch dice (or smaller)

1/3 cup currants or raisins (I used dried cranberries, from Quebec.)

1-2 cups canned chick peas, rinsed and drained (I used 1/1/2)

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper




In a heavy medium saucepan, whisk together the stock, cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Add the couscous in a slow steady stream, stirring constantly, and continue to boil, stirring, for 1 minute. Cover the pot tightly, remove from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.


Fluff the couscous grains with a fork, transfer to a large mixing bowl and let cool. Then fluff again, rubbing with your fingers to break up any lumps.


Add the carrot, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, apple, currants and chick peas and toss.


In a small jar with a lid, shake the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil with the lemon juice, salt and pepper until well mixed. Pour over the salad and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or up to 3 days. Season with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste before serving.


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