RED PEP­PER, MELON AND COUSCOUS LAY­ERED SALAD

Friday - - Food -

Prep time 15 mins Assem­bly time 15 mins Serves 4 175g couscous 500ml hot veg­etable stock 4 tbsp ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil 2 tbsp white grape vine­gar 2 red pep­pers, cored, de-seeded and finely diced 500g cream cheese, soft­ened Juice of ½ a lemon 1 small hand­ful basil leaves, finely sliced, plus ex­tra to gar­nish ½ Galia melon, peeled, de-seeded and roughly sliced Place the couscous in a heat­proof bowl and stir in the stock. Cover the bowl tightly with cling­film and let stand for 10 min­utes. Mean­while, whisk to­gether the olive oil and white grape vine­gar with a lit­tle salt and pep­per to taste in a mix­ing bowl. Add the pep­pers, stir well, and let stand at room tem­per­a­ture. In the mean­time,

beat the cream cheese with the lemon juice, 3 tbsp hot wa­ter, and some salt and pep­per to taste in a mix­ing bowl. Once the couscous has ab­sorbed the stock, fluff with a fork to separate the grains. Stir the sliced basil into the red pep­pers. To as­sem­ble, place a metal ring mould on a serv­ing plate. Fill with a layer of the couscous, pack­ing it down with the back of a ta­ble­spoon. Top with some cream cheese fol­lowed by an even layer of melon slices. Top with a thin layer of red pep­per fol­lowed by more couscous and more cream cheese. Top with more melon and spoon over some dressed red pep­per. Gar­nish with sprigs of basil be­fore serv­ing.

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