I Think It’s Rad(icchio) When You Shake Your Couscous
Hi, my name is Angela and I am addicted to high drama. And not the Bravo-flavored, housewife sassin’, backstabbing kind. I’m talking about the cinematic moments where your life blurs into a movie and you get to pen the script and set the soundtrack all by yourself. So it’s no surprise that I live for instances that make my heart ache from their sheer beauty, typically created by a bit of music, an inspiring ingredient, or a splash of design. And sometimes, when I am disgustingly lucky, I’ll get all of the above in one fell swoop. My friends know that in these moments, I’ll tend to gush and grow a little manic trying to cram in my fill, but I chalk it up as a response that makes me inherently me. The moments between these fits is merely life pausing for me, only to resume when my next blissful obsession hits.
I fell in love with this couscous salad for being so damn beautiful – I first envisioned it as a way to work champagne grapes into a delicate salad, but then the radicchio and goat cheese came to the party and I was bowled away at the symphony of flavors. Grilling the radicchio turned the bitter leaves into pure sweetness, with a nutty char that paired perfectly with the juicy grapes. Plus, sweet and salty always want to get it on, so goat cheese just had to be there. I was ecstatic over the stars in my eyes and my love at first bite. And I immediately wanted to dance it out to a soundtrack of horns and coursing melodies.
The other day I passed my friend the cookie that came with my sandwich at lunch, telling her that I didn’t want to eat it – not because it was gross, but because it didn’t make my mouth happy. And I didn’t want to be in the business of eating anything that made me feel nothing. I know that that’s not really how it goes it terms of calorie consumption for mere survival, but I could give two shits. Sure, my career as a lithe supermodel isn’t looming on the horizon, but so fucking what. I get to hear an entire orchestra serenading me and a splay of color lighting the sky every time I dine, and that is a life well lived as far as I’m concerned. Spice or Die, bitches.
Couscous Salad with Grilled Radicchio, Grapes and Goat Cheese
6 oz. box of couscous
1/2 of a head of radicchio, cut into two wedges
1 c. of halved red grapes
3 tsp. of parsley, roughly chopped
4 oz. of goat cheese, crumbled
3 tbs. of olive oil, plus extra for grilling
2 tbs. of champagne vinegar
salt and pepper
Make couscous according to package directions. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool. While the couscous cools, grill your radicchio – lightly oil a grill pan or outdoor grill and place the radicchio wedges over high heat for barely a minute on each side, allowing them to char a bit but not burn. The wedges should remain intact with some brown and purple pieces. Set aside and allow to cool a bit before continuing to assemble the salad.
Pop the cooled couscous into a large bowl and add the grapes, parsley and goat cheese. Thinly slice the radicchio and add to the bowl. Toss the ingredients with the olive oil and champagne vinegar and then season with a bit of salt and black pepper. Cool the salad for at least 15 minutes and then taste and reseason as needed. Serve.