I love couscous. I get a bit annoyed when people say it is tasteless. It's like saying pasta or potatoes are tasteless - you need to add some other nice stuff to it otherwise it is going to be bland. But despite being a long-term couscous consumer, I only came across giant or Israeli (the name seems to vary depending on political affiliations) couscous quite recently. I was rather impressed with a Tesco grilled vegetable salad that contained a mixture of regular couscous, giant couscous and chickpeas. And so I resolved to try and make my own giant couscous salad.
I used this Merchant Gourmet brand giant couscous, and was surprised to learn that you actually have to boil it like pasta rather than just pour hot water on it like the regular stuff. Although in retrospect it seems quite obvious that the larger grains would require more cooking. But once cooked I proceeded as I would normally, by dousing in olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. I also added some finely chopped red onion, tomato, and grilled courgette.
And the outcome? Unfortunately I didn't really like it. Perhaps I over-cooked it or maybe there are other better brands I should try, but the giant couscous grains were oddly slimy, and didn't absorb flavour in the way that I'm used to with the regular variety. My salad was still perfectly edible but not really enjoyable. I think next time I will follow Tesco's example and combine this with other grains. Any other suggestions?
Merchant Gourmet giant couscous
I rate it 6.5/10
Cost: Around £2.00 for a 300g box