We have these wonderful family friends – I’ll call them the Bs. We’ve been friends for something like 24 (!) years, since Catherine and I met at daycare. Although we ended up spending only about 6 months in school together, we’ve stayed close over the years and seen each other in all phases of life. We’ve gone to camp together, taken salsa lessons together, somehow ruined 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies together, and even worked our first jobs together.
Anyway! A few years back the Bs generously started hosting us for Christmas Eve. Very little can beat those nights in terms of festivity. The evening is always filled with (far too much) incredible food, games, Christmas crackers, music (from the piano, our own voices, or once even a piano/guitar hybrid!) and – of course – port. Hilarity usually ensues :p
One of the dishes that has starred a few times is this wonderfully festive quinoa salad with sweet potato, cranberries and feta that Louise makes. And so, to maximize Toronto-y-ness and festivity, I decided to whip up my own version for the girls: spiced sweet potato couscous with feta, cranberries, and arugula.
I started by tossing some sweet potato cubes in some olive oil and cayenne and then chucking that all in the oven.
I tossed a handful of craisins into some dry couscous and then cooked that up – easy peasy. Much quicker than quinoa, which was one of the reasons I chose it, but ALSO for some reason my grocery store tends to only sell those mixed of quinoa with the three different colours. And I just cannot get on board with those. They all have different cooking times! I don’t get it.
Next it was time for some crumbled feta, a couple handfuls of arugula, a little vinaigrette, et voilà! Super quick and simple, fairly healthy, and perfect to make ahead of time…
So that when the girls got here I could focus on a far less wholesome dish: phyllo-wrapped brie. The less you know about that, the better 😛
But anyway, I ended up enjoying these leftovers so much that I made another batch – a true sign of a win around here! So I thought it merited its place on this little blog.
This spiced sweet potato couscous can be eaten at room temperature or reheated, making it a very flexible little number. And in spite of the sweet potato and the cranberries, it’s satisfyingly salty and hearty – and that’s coming from someone who only sometimes likes sweet potato and has much more of a salty tooth than a sweet one.
A simple recipe for a festive and hearty spiced sweet potato couscous with cranberries, arugula, and feta - perfect to make ahead of time for a party or work lunches!