An absolutely fantastic summer salad. Nice on its own, but also lovely with a piece of barbecued meat. Recipe source is a small booklet called 'Simple Summer Food' that came along with the June addition (06) of the British 'Good Food' magazine. Although this is not a traditional Middle Eastern recipe, I included it to my African recipes for the Zaar World Tour, as it includes couscous and chickpeas and the whole dish certainly tastes Mediterranean.
couscous and vegetables
- 9 ounces couscous (250g)
- 1 cup boiling vegetable stock (250ml)
- 400 g canned chick-peas (14 1/8 ounces)
- 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
- 10 ounces courgettes, sliced on the slant (300g)
- 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved (300g)
- 250 g halloumi cheese, thickly sliced, then halved lengthways (1 packet = 8 7/8 ounces)
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil (125ml)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 -3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- mint leaf
- Tip couscous into bowl, pour over boiling stock and stir. Cover and leave for 4-5 minutes.
- Mix dressing ingredients together.
- Fluff up the couscous with a fork, stir in the chickpeas and half of the dressing. Pile on a large serving dish.
- Heat oil in a griddle pan or a large frying pan. Fry the courgette slices over high heat for 2-3 mins until dark golden. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper. Put the tomatoes, cut sized down, into the pan and cook for 2 minutes until tinged brown underneath. Remove from the pan and season with salt and pepper. Top the couscous with courgettes, then the tomatoes.
- If the pan is dry, pour in a little more oil, heat it up and add the halloumi. Fry for 2-3 mins, turning until crisp and sizzled brown. Pile on top of the tomatoes and pour over the remaining dressing. Garnish with mint leaves.
I really enjoyed the fresh, light summery flavours in this, and the minty lime dressing was really nice with the halloumi. I wouldn't have minded a bit of spice with the couscous though, and ended up having a dollop of harissa on the side of the plate. Next time I think I'd add some chilli and coriander - but there will definitely be a next time!