Mediterranean Twists: Warm couscous salad

This is easily my favourite summertime dish right now. I have served this to about 15-20 people in the last 2 weeks and it is a continual favourite.

What you need:

  • 500g box of couscous 
  • 1 cube chicken stock 
  • 2-3 smallish eggplants cut into about 2″ dice
  • 1 bunch green onions washed and cut into 2″ lengths 
  • 1-2 peppers of your choice (I like the sweet red ones) 2″ dice
  • 4-5 zucchini, smallish ones about 4-5″ long. Cut in half
  • 1 head of garlic. Leave whole, but slice off the top to allow the oil to penetrate
  • 1/2 lemon. Cut into quarters
  • Handful of pine nuts toasted
  • 2-3 slices of prosciutto fried crispy (you could substitute bacon) 
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch of crushed chillies (to your desired heat level) 
  • Small handful of chopped parsley for garnish 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

How it’s done:

  • Place the vegetables in a roasting pan, including the lemon.
  • Liberally apply the olive oil. It will take a fair bit of oil because the eggplants will absorb a lot. Don’t be shy with the oil, it will be used later.
  • Add your chillies, salt and pepper. 
  • Roast in a 400F (200C) oven for 45min to an hour. This can be done a day ahead and stored in the fridge.
  • About half way through, mix up the vegetables so they all will be done and slightly crispy.
  • While the veggies are in the oven, toast the pine nuts over medium heat with no oil. It is important that you pay attention because they will burn if you leave them alone. When they are golden remove from heat and reserve until the end.
  • Fry the prosciutto over medium heat until crispy. Remove from heat and when cooled rough chop and set aside.
  • When the veggies are done let cool for 10-15 min.
  • When you are close to serving time, place the couscous in a heat proof dish, drain all the oil from the roasted veggies onto the couscous and mix until all of the couscous is coated with oil.
  • Add the chicken stock.
  • Boil the correct amount of water (as per package instructions, usually one to one ratio) and pour over the couscous.
  • Give a quick stir, cover and let stand 5 min.
  • Fluff up the couscous with a fork and transfer to a serving dish.
  • Mix the couscous with the veggies, squeezing the head of garlic to release the contents (discard the skins).
  • Mix well, garnish with pine nuts, prosciutto, and parsley.
  • Enjoy!

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