I first had couscous around five years ago at work where I would regularly have it in various different combinations during lunch. I had seen it being made on TV many times but had never made it at home so I decided to try it one day. After a lot of attempts, I came up with this combination recently of chargrilled vegetables and feta cheese, and it seems to work quite well. Couscous does not have any specific taste, it is a very versatile grain and can take lots of different flavours, this makes it an ideal filler for salads. Due to the stripes created by the griddle pan on the carrots and parsnips, my son says it is tiger & zebra salad. It is a fun way of making sure he eats his food, as I am sure most of you will agree, it is an uphill battle to get them to eat what is good for them.
You can choose what ever vegetables you like to make this salad, and if you do not have a griddle pan then just spray or brush a little olive oil on the vegetables and cook them in a saucepan until slightly golden. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds can also be added to the salad and the cheese can be changed to halloumi.
Preparation time: 20 mins Cooking time: 45 mins Serves : 2
1 cup couscous
1 tsp salt
1/2 lemon, juice and rind
3 tsp harissa herb mix
2 tbsp olive oil
1 of each, carrot, parsnip, courgette
200g feta cheese
1 cup olives green or black
1) In a large bowl, place the couscous and all the other ingredients apart from the vegetables, feta cheese and olives. Pour boiling hot water, enough to cover the couscous and 2 cms extra and mix with a fork. Making sure all the grains of couscous are coated with the spice, olive oil and lemon rinds, keep on mixing at regular intervals just to make sure that the grains of couscous don’t lump together. Once the water has absorbed taste the couscous for the correct balance of flavours and to make sure the couscous is al dente, you can add a little extra hot water if needed and mix again with a fork.
2) Chop the vegetables at a slight angle, about 2 mm thick, coat with a little olive oil and place on a preheated griddle pan or place them on the saucepan if using that. Cook until brown on each side.
3) Once they are all cooked mix with the couscous and add the feta cheese and olives. If you are using halloumi cheese, you can cook this on the griddle pan or saucepan and then add it to the couscous. Your salad is ready to enjoy, warm or cold.