Ingredient Spotlight: Macadamia Nut Oil + Garden Herb Couscous Recipe
Long before the days of Kari Gran the skin care company, I was known to purchase some of my favorite skin care items in the aisles of the local Co-op. I’ve always loved a good multitasker and organic coconut oil was my favorite thing (and still is) for cooking and using on my body after the shower. I was pulled aside in the TSA line and quizzed about the small $20 jar of coconut oil I had in my carry on (hey, I considered it a solid and a food). When asked what I did with it, I quickly responded: “I eat it and put it on my body.” Commence eye-rolling by my husband. My point here is that if I can eat it, I’m pretty happy to use it on my body. That brings me to the lovely organic macadamia nut oil in the Three Sixty Five SPF 28.
Macadamia oil is a lightweight oil that doesn’t feel greasy on the skin. The highlights for me were the high phytosterols given they are building blocks of our cellular structure and membrane. Phytosterols are also known for their calming and healing properties which can help with the repair of the skin’s barrier function. It also has linoleic acid which helps prevent trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) and oleic acid, which has lovely moisturizing properties.
Given it flourishes in tropical climates, it made sense to me that it would be a potentially good ingredient for a sun product. And blended with the other signature oils such as Red Raspberry Seed Oil and French Plum Kernel Oil, it was a perfect fit for Essential SPF.
Even better, check the aisles of the co-op or even Whole Foods, you’ll find it there for cooking. It happens to be delish too. Check out our Garden Herb Couscous with Macadamia Oil recipe by our very own Rachel Aiken below.
Garden Herb Couscous with Macadamia Nut Oil
by Rachel Aiken
This summer side dish was inspired by the Macadamia Nut Oil that we use in our Three Sixty Five SPF 28. I decided that it would be a perfect complement to the explosion of fresh herbs growing in my garden. The recipe is adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s wonderful ode to vegetarian cookery, Plenty. I recommend using as many different kinds of herbs as possible, although avoid selections like rosemary and sage that can overpower. The Macadamia Nut Oil adds a fantastic toasted nutty quality to the finished salad, particularly paired with the roasted macadamia nuts.
1 cup couscous
1.5 cups boiling water
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Optional: 2 teaspoons Hazelnut Dukkah (see Cook’s Note)
6 green onions, sliced
2 jalapeño or serrano chilies, minced
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cup roasted macadamia nuts, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
Salt to taste
3 cups semi-firmly packed fresh herbs in any combination – parsley, cilantro, tarragon, dill, mint, chervil
6 tablespoons macadamia nut oil
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Measure the couscous into a large bowl and pour the water over. Stir well, then cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit at least 10 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
Set a large skillet over medium heat and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and a couple pinches of salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly until the onions have begun to caramelize. While they are still light yellow in color, stir in the cumin and hazelnut dukkah (if using). Stir until the mixture is very fragrant and the onions have deepened to a honey-brown color.
Using a food processor or high-powered blender, blitz all the herbs together with the remaining olive oil and macadamia nut oil. If you want to use less oil, start out with half the amount suggested and add more as desired. The paste should be textured and wet like a chunkier pesto. Season with salt.
Thoroughly stir the herb paste into the couscous until the mixture is a uniform green. Add the caramelized and green onions, chilies, lemon juice and lemon zest. Gently mix in the macadamia nuts and tomatoes and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Cook’s Note: Hazelnut Dukkah is a mouth-watering African spice blend available from Seattle’s World Spice Merchants (https://www.worldspice.com/). It is a blend of hazelnuts, cumin, sesame seed, coriander, salt, marjoram, thyme and pepper. You can always add some or all of these ingredients to the caramelized onion mixture if you don’t have the Dukkah on hand, although I highly recommend ordering some!