Fruit and Nut Couscous with Fresh Herbs

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (August 2019) and taken from Summer Every Day by Acland Geddes and Pedro Da Silva.

Fruit and Nut couscous

Serves : 6 – 8

Ingredients :
500g couscous
Olive oil, for frying and drizzling
50g whole almonds
50g whole cashews
50g whole pecans
1 pomegranate
2 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tblsp chopped fresh mint
2 tblsp chopped fresh basil
50g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
50g raisins

Step One : Put the couscous in a serving bowl and add cold water until it is covered by about 2 cm of water. Leave until all the water is absorbed (about 10 minutes), then fluff it up with your hands.

Step Two : Put all the nuts in a pan with a splash of olive oil and toast over medium heat until they are nicely browned. Set aside to cool.

Step Three : Remove the pomegranate seeds by cutting the fruit in half, holding it over a bowl and bashing the outside with the back of a wooden spoon so that the seeds fall into the bowl.

Step Four : Stir the herbs, nuts, pomegranate seeds and dried apricots into the couscous. Add a little olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Apricot Cheesecake

Dried apricotsServes : 8
Cals per person : 350
Prep time : 25 mins (plus cooling)
Cook time : 45-50 mins

Ingredients:
175g (6oz) dried apricots
175ml (6 fl oz) orange juice
75g (3oz) butter
2 tblsp clear honey
225g (8 oz) muesli
600g (1 lb 5oz) natural 8% fat fromage frais
1 medium size egg, beaten

To decorate:
6 black and 6 green grapes, halved and deseeded
4 strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 kiwi fruit, peeled, halved and sliced
15g ( ½ oz) dried apricots, chopped
sprigs of fresh mint

Step One : Preheat the oven to Gas mark 5; 190oC; 375oF. Place the apricots in a saucepan with the orange juice, bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 mins or until tender.

Step Two : Meanwhile, place the butter and 1 tbsp honey in a saucepan. Heat gently for 1-2 mins or until the butter has melted.

Step Three : Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and stir in the muesli. Stir until well mixed, then press into the base of a lightly greased and lined 20cm (8 in) round, loose-bottomed cake tin.

Step Four : Transfer the cooked apricots and any juice to a food processor or blender, and process until smooth. Spread one third of the apricot puree over the muesli base.

Step Five : Stir the remaining apricot puree into 450g (1 lb) fromage-frais with the beaten egg and remaining honey. Spoon on top of the apricot layer in the cake tin and smooth over.

Step Six : Cook in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cheesecake comes away from the sides of the tin. Leave to cool for 5 mins in the tin before removing, then leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Step Seven : Top the cheesecake with a layer of the remaining fromage-frais, decorate with the fruit and sprigs of mint, and serve chilled.

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Easy Upside Down Apricot Pudding

Always keep a couple of packets of sponge mix in the cupboard for a fast, easy pudding.

  • Stir 5 tbsp apricot jam into 225g / 8oz of no need to soak apricots and put into the base of a 1 1/2 pint pudding basin.
  • Make up 2 sponge mixes (you’ll find that one is not generous enough) according to the instructions on the packet and spread over the fruit.
  • Microwave on medium for about 8 minutes or bake in a tin half filled with water and entirely covered with foil at Mark 5 / 375oF/ 190oC for 40 minutes or until the sponge is risen, springy and firm to the touch.

A few things Apricotty and Puddinny that you may like …