SWEET MINT COUSCOUS WITH SUMMER BERRIES AND BASIL SUGAR RECIPE
Summer is definitely here now, hot days and when I go out in the middle of the day, there’s no one around. I’m sure I said this before but this is Italy at its most Italy to me. The really white light (and it is even stronger and whiter down south), the heat, the way people are in the summer, the whole atmosphere is the epitome of Italy in my mind. Talk about stereotyping a country’s image but I just can’t help it-it’s etched into my soul. (Or is it a mind I have. I can’t decide on that issue. ) And all the goodness of the summer produce is beginning to appear, fruit and vegetables of a completely different kind than the ones we have been eating lately and I feel just like I feel every time the season changes-how nice it is to be able to follow the year through what we eat.
This summery dessert, my entry for this month’s HotM, is composed of a lot of flavours and is really very simple to make, you can serve it like I have presented it here or you can make it even simpler for you and let people compose it for themselves. I used raspberries and blueberries because I have been longing for that myself but that is obviously up to you, any berries or chopped fruit can be used. I flavoured the couscous with mint tea but even here you can play around with different flavours, I think mint is perfect in the summer because it makes me feel cooler than I am. And then we have the basil sugar, I love herb sugars and salts and they are the easiest thing in the world to make if you have a mixer or food processor so right now is the perfect time to whiz them up!
SWEET MINT COUSCOUS WITH SUMMER BERRIES AND BASIL SUGAR
150 ml/0,63 cup peppermint tea
150 ml/0,63 couscous of the more instant type (i.e. you add boiling liquid and let it swell for about 5 minutes)
– Make the peppermint tea very strong and add as much honey you want. I suggest you make it quite sweet if you want the couscous to be sweet.
– Bring the tea to boil and add the couscous, stir and leave it to soak. Fluff it up now and then with a fork and then leave it to get cold.
– Mash raspberries, add honey to sweeten if needed.
– Take a circle form and pack it with couscous to make the couscous cakes on the plates you are going to serve the dessert on. Put a layer of mashed raspberries on top of each couscous cake.
– Top with the berries and sprinkle with basil sugar.
– To make the basil sugar you take 30-40 fresh basil leaves with 200 ml/0,85 cup sugar in a mixer until the sugar is green and the leaves have ‘disintegrated’. I spread it out to let it dry and then I put it in an airtight container and use it. Often.