Salt, Pepper and a Dollop of Cream

One Woman's Journey through Her Cookbooks

Review: A Year at Avoca, a Cookbook + Lebanese Couscous Salad with Pomegranate and Mint!

Avoca Lebanese Couscous
It’s just over a week since we spent a lovely evening with friends here at home.  As you know, I love a gathering – sharing stories, sharing food, making memories.  Some friends we hadn’t seen since the same time last year, others even longer and others only the previous week!

I’d been planning what to serve for a while as I like to provide a fork supper when catering for more than six.  The main course was braised beef with carrots which I was going to serve with roast potatoes and a green salad but a visit to Avoca put paid to that when I opened a copy of their latest cookbook, A Year at Avoca, a Cookbook at the recipe for Lebanese Couscous with Pomegranate and Mint!  So couscous was now on the menu and a new cookbook was promptly added to my library!

This new Avoca cookbook is a fabulous addition to any cook’s library.  The recipes are simple and inviting, the photography is stunning (I’m longing for summer already as I go through the book)!  The recipes are divided according to the seasons, a division that I really like and appreciate and there is a list of dishes at the start of each section breaking the recipes into starters, salads, mains and dessert.

Now on to the couscous recipe!  OKAY, okay, it’s in the Spring section of the book and this is Winter but I just couldn’t resist it, particularly since pomegranates are so plentiful at the moment! The recipe was SO simple to make, full of smoky flavour and looked immediately inviting with that wonderful sparkling glint of pomegranate {the seeds really have that jewel-like quality!}.  I highly recommend this dish for super easy entertaining and know that it will be on my buffet menu for many, many years to come.  Thank you, Avoca!

A Year at Avoca, a Cookbook

And I’m delighted to share the recipe with you by kind permission of Avoca! Enjoy!

Xx Paula

Lebanese Couscous Salad
with pomegranate and mint


{serves 6-8}

200g couscous
2 tbsp olive oil
90g mint, roughly chopped
1 bunch spring onions, thinly sliced
Seeds of 2 whole pomegranates or 4 tbsp seeds
1 tsp pomegranate molasses {optional}

For the spice infusion

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp sultanas
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


In a deep bowel, coat the couscous in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil before adding boiling water to barely cover it.
Keep mixing the cooked grains with a fork as they cool to stop them sticking – you are aiming for light, fluffy grains.
As the couscous is cooling, make the spice infusion: place the spices and sultanas in a small saucepan with the olive oil and warm gently on a low heat for a minute or until the fragrance of spices is released, then add to the couscous.
Mix well and season with salt and pepper.
Allow to cool, add the chopped mint, spring onions, pomegranate seeds and pomegranate molasses if using.
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little extra olive oil if necessary.

To serve

Serve in a large bowl with a few leaves of mint to garnish.

A Year at Avoca – A Cookbook is available directly from Avoca and good bookstores.


One comment on “Review: A Year at Avoca, a Cookbook + Lebanese Couscous Salad with Pomegranate and Mint!

  1. laurasmess
    March 22, 2014

    What a beautiful book! I hadn’t heard of it, I definitely want to try this recipe. Perfect for warm weather 🙂 Oh, and Paula you might want to edit the first line of your recipe notes, haha… just a little typo! It’s been too long since I visited your beautiful site. Lots of wonderful recipes to catch up on. Hope that you’re going well! xx

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This entry was posted on December 18, 2013 by in Book Reviews, Side Dishes and tagged , , , , , , , .

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