Opera under the Stars – an informal get together with family and friends on a balmy summer’s evening listening to some of the world’s most famous arias in the lush parklands, which surround Sydney.
Thousands of people pack picnic baskets and blankets and head to the Domain located near the Sydney Opera House. Through the generosity of Opera Australia, the Opera Australia Orchestra and Sydney City Council, Sydney-siders can enjoy a free sampling of some of Australia’s leading opera performers.
With picnic basket packed, I will venture with the thousands to enjoy some free culture. A sneak peak inside my basket of picnic goodies is a delicious Mediterranean Summer Salad that will be enjoyed while sipping chilled white wine and listening to La Traviata, La Bohème and Carmen. Bon Appetite.
Inside my picnic basket is this delicious Mediterranean Summer Salad - it's packed full of taste and goodness.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2-3 as a salad or side dish
Ingredients 1 Cup Mediterranean Cous Cous
½ Mushroom Stock Cube
2 Tablespoons Pepitas
2 Tablespoons Blanched Almonds
1 Tablespoon Pine Nuts
4 Dates (Chopped)
Small Handful Mint Leaves
Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil for seasoning
Place the mushroom stock cube into a saucepan containing 1.5 cups of water and bring to the boil.
Add the Cous Cous and cook for approximately 10-minutes or until all the water has been absorbed and the Cous Cous is al dente.
Once all the water has been absorbed, remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
Plump Cous Cous Pearls cooked al dente.
Thinly slice a zucchini and season with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Char-grill the zucchini for a couple of minutes each side. Set aside to cool.
Char-grilled zucchini chopped into pieces and ready to be added to the Mediterranean Summer Salad.
Place the pepitas, pine nuts and blanched almonds into a small frying pan, and dry roast the nuts until they start to turn colour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Dry roasted nuts and chopped dates keeps this summer salad interesting with a burst of different flavours.
To assemble the salad; combine the Cous Cous, nuts and dates. Chop the zucchini into small pieces and add to the Cous Cous.
Season with extra virgin olive oil and a little salt and pepper then garnish with fresh mint and serve.
Mediterranean Summer Salad can be enjoyed at BBQ's, for lunch or dinner or at a picnic.
Notes Unlike regular Cous Cous where you simply add boiling water and steam, cooking Mediterranean Cous Cous is similar to cooking pasta.
Difference between regular Cous Cous and Mediterranean Cous Cous.