This is a truly different and flavorful salad, actually it’s a complete meal in itself with the complex layers of flavors from the couscous to the roasted vegetables then the light sprinkling of the harissa-kissed greens on top. If you use vegetable stock it is certainly one of the best vegetarian dishes around.
Serves 4 as a main course
1lb cherry tomatoes
1 small eggplant
2 medium zucchini
1 small red pepper, deseeded and cut into 1-inch squares
1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 1-inch squares
1 large onion, sliced and cut into 1-inch squares
4 fat cloves garlic, chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
small handful fresh basil leaves, torn
salt and pepper
10 oz couscous
18 fl oz vegetable stock (or chicken stock) put on the heat to boil
4 oz firm goat cheese
salt and pepper
1 4oz bag mixed spicy greens
4 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
1 rounded tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
4 tbsp fresh lime juice (approx 2 – 3 limes)
1 tbsp black onion seeds or ordinary onion seeds if you can’t get the black ones
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees
Ahead of time
Prepare the eggplant and zucchini ahead of time by cutting them into 1 inch dice, leaving the skins on. Toss them in about a level dessertspoon of salt and pack them in a colander with a plate on top and a heavy weight on top of the plate. Leave them on one side for an hour or so to that some of the bitter juices drain out.
After that, squeeze out any juices left and dry the dice thoroughly in a clean cloth
Now arrange the tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers and onion in a roasting tin sprinkle with the chopped garlic, basil and olive oil, toss it all together to get well coated and season with salt and pepper.
Place the tin on the highest shelf of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are toasted brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
When you’re ready to assemble the salad, first place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl, then pour over the boiling stock, add some salt and pepper, stir with a fork, cover with cling film and leave on one side for 5 minutes by which time all the stock should be absorbed and the couscous softened.
Meanwhile cut the goat cheese into sugar cube-sized pieces.
Make up the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together into a bowl, then pour onto a serving pitcher.
To serve the salad place the couscous in a large wide glass salad bowl (it’s nice to use glass so you can see all the layers!) and gently fork in the cubes of goat cheese along with the roasted vegetables and any juices.
Next, arrange the salad leaves on top and just before serving, drizzle some of the dressing over the top followed by the onion seeds and serve the rest of the dressing in a pitcher separately.