Update your pasta salad game using pearl couscous for a different texture sensation.
Mougrabieh is made with flour and water, so has similar attributes but with a Middle Eastern take.
INGREDIENTS FOR FOUR
1 x large red or brown onion
Salt and pepper
250gm giant/pearl couscous
approx. 20gm mint
approx. 30gm flat leaf parsley
3tsp sherry vinegar
½tsp Dijon mustard
40ml extra virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 190° Place covered saucepan of salted water on stove and heat to boiling.
- Peel carrots and onion. Cut carrots in 1½cm wide slices. Slice onion in rounds or lyonnaise (cut in half and slice from tip to root). Toss in 1½ tablespoons olive oil and season with 2 to 3 pinches salt plus a few grinds black pepper. Place in single layer on non-stick paper lined baking tray. Roast for about 30 minutes, until starting to caramelise. Remove vegetables from the oven.
- While vegetables are cooking, place couscous in boiling water. Simmer for 25 minutes, until just cooked. Drain.
- Roughly tear each prosciutto slice into about 4 pieces.
- Pick herb leaves from stalks.
- Place all dressing ingredients in screw top jar and shake well to form an emulsion.
- Place large frying pan over medium heat.
- Pat haloumi dry with paper towel. Cut cheese in half, forming 2 big triangles. Cut each half into 4 thin slices to yield 8 pieces in total. Pat dry again.
- Place 1 to 2 tablespoons oil into hot pan and fry haloumi in a couple of batches for a minute or so each side, until golden. Drain off excess oil on more paper towel.
- Drain couscous. Run under tap briefly to remove excess starch. Drain well again and place into large bowl. Pour over dressing while couscous is still warm. Add roasted vegetables, haloumi and herb leaves.
- Pile onto serving platter and randomly tuck prosciutto into other components (see image).
- Serve whilst still warm with big leafy green salad and crusty baguette if liked.
- This is a pasta salad reimagined. Lebanese giant or pearl Moughrabieh is made with flour and water, so has similar attributes to pasta but with a Middle Eastern feel and a wonderful texture.
- Use regular couscous or Israeli toasted couscous in place or the large variety if preferred.
- Exchange carrots for Mediterranean style roasted vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini and capsicum.
- Don't omit roasted onion in the mix, this really lends the dish some depth of flavour.
- Toss through baby spinach or chard for even more veggie goodness.
- Add Za’atar spice mix (sumac, oregano and sesame seeds) once salad is made or toss through vegetables before roasting it really adds something special.
- Chop herbs if preferred texturally.