Israeli couscous may be Israeli, but it’s definitely not couscous. Couscous is ground semolina (crucially without being mixed with either egg or water) rubbed together with wet hands until tiny granules form and are then dried. Israeli couscous, on the other hand, is tiny balls (about the size of larger peppercorns) of true pasta made from both wheat flour and semolina then toasted.
Recipe introduction by Sally Swift for our Weeknight Kitchen newsletter. Sign up to get wonderful new recipes direct to your inbox every Wednesday.
Don’t shake the can of coconut milk before opening it—you’ll use the layer of cream on top in this sweet and spicy dressing, which is mellowed by the cooling iceberg lettuce and rich dark-meat chicken. Transfer the unused coconut milk to a clean jar and refrigerate it for making soup or a curry (it will hold for several days).
This is half way between a dahl and a curry, where a few tins of regular sweetcorn are transformed into something fragrant and special by the help of the spices from the back of your cupboard. I’ve suggested using a stick blender to give your corn a nice creamy texture, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry, just mash some of the corn by hand using a potato masher instead.
I love a chewy grain salad (this one has lentils too) with a lot of contrasting flavors and textures. Sweet, sour, chewy, crunchy, salty. You can go crazy and add more ingredients here; just don’t add toasted nuts or seeds ahead of time, as they will get soggy—throw them on top just before serving.
I know it looks a bit strange to see the cabbage so charred and black, but trust me – it’s absolutely delicious. It’s one of those things I discovered and wished I’d found sooner! To get an even charring of the cabbage, press the wedges firmly into the pan so that the surface makes complete contact with the heat.
This soup is a lovely soft yellow; it sings with the color of spring, and gently soothes.
Carbonara is such a quick supper. It is rich and creamy (without any cream), thanks to the egg yolks and mountains of cheese. Artichokes bring a slight citrus flavor that balances the richness of the sauce.
Italian sausage and white bean braise is a super-easy start-up variation on meatballs. The key is to buy good-quality pork and fennel sausages, either at your local butcher or the supermarket.