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Nigel Slater’s couscous salad with orange and broad beans recipe

GHHHA most delicious salad fortified with beans and sweetly surprising with orange slices

Put the kettle on to boil. Tip 80g of instant couscous into a heatproof mixing bowl, then pour enough of the boiling water over to cover the couscous by 2cm. Set aside for about 15 minutes, till the couscous has absorbed all the liquid.

Cook 200g broad beans (weight after podding) in lightly salted boiling water for 5 or 6 minutes till just tender, then drain. Pop the beans out of their papery skins by pressing them between thumb and finger.

In a dry pan, toast 25g pine kernels till golden, shaking the pan from time to time to help them to brown easily. Remove the peel from 2 juicy oranges with a knife, taking care to cut away all the bitter white pith under the skin. Cut each orange into about 5 thin slices.

Finely chop 10 mint leaves and the leaves from a small bunch of parsley. (You will need a good couple of handfuls of chopped parsley.) Trim and finely slice 6 radishes. Slice 3 spring onions very finely. Run a fork through the couscous to separate the grains then add the chopped mint and parsley, the broad beans and the toasted pine kernels, the radishes and spring onions. Season generously.

Serve the broad bean couscous trickled with olive oil, together with the sliced oranges.

In this instance, for a quick midweek meal, I would use instant couscous. You can use boiling water in which to soak the couscous, but I like to use vegetable or chicken stock if I have some. Running a fork through the soaked couscous is essential to separate and lighten the texture. It is better not to make the salad more than an hour in advance, after which time the texture may suffer.

You will need something crisp to contrast the general softness of the couscous. Cucumber, for instance, or radishes, celery, lightly cooked green beans cut into small dice, grated carrot, toasted nuts – especially flaked almonds. I also like adding toasted seeds such as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin.