Bilby Bites - the food blog from Bilby Marketing

Roasted Vegetable Couscous Salad with Harissa-style dressing

Delia Smith has definitely got to be one of my food heroes (heroines if you prefer). When I arrived from Australia in the UK in 1992 I had not heard of Delia, but after a couple of years soaking up the culture and getting used to the different cuisine, I was hooked on her simple and fool-proof recipes. By simple, I definitely don't mean dull. To this day I refer to her website DeliaOnline.com whenever I want to find something different and reliable that isn't going to be ridiculously hard to re-produce. This recipe was published from her Summer Collection book, an absolute staple of mine, but is also available on her site. It's healthy, tasty and easy. Perfect ingredients for a happy me.

Roast Vegetable Couscous Salad with Sweet Potato

Roast Vegetable Couscous Salad with Sweet Potato

Focus on the Harissa-style Sauce

Focus on the Harissa-style Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 small aubergine
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 450g cherry tomatoes, skinned
  • 1 small red pepper, de-seeded and cut into 2.5cm squares
  • 1 small bulb fennel, chopped
  • 1 large onion, sliced and cut into 2.5 cm squares
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsps fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1 heaped tbsp capers, drained
  • 275g couscous
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 110g firm goats' cheese
  • 75g mixed salad leaves
  • 110ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 rounded tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 level tbsps ground cumin
  • 2 heaped tbsps tomato puree
  • 4 tbsps lime juice (roughly 2 limes)
  • 1 level tbsp black onion seeds
  • salt and freshly milled black pepper

Method

  • Dice the aubergines and courgettes into 2.5cm cubes, leaving the skins on. Then toss the diced vegetables in a level tablespoon of salt and pack them into a colander with a heavy weight on top of the plate to squeeze out some of the bitter juices. After an hour press out any further juices you can and dry thoroughly in a clean cloth.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 9, 475°F (240°C).
  • Now arrange the aubergine, courgettes, tomatoes, pepper, fennel and onion in the roasting tin, sprinkle with the crushed garlic, basil and olive oil. Toss everything around in the oil to get a good coating and season with salt and pepper. Place the tin on the highest shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are toasted brown at the edges.
  • When the vegetables are done, remove them from the oven and stir in the chopped olives and the capers then remove them to a plate to cool.
  • When you're ready to assemble the salad, first place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl, then pour the boiling stock over it. Add some salt and pepper, stir it with a fork, then leave on one side for 5 minutes, by which time it will have absorbed all the stock and softened.
  • Meanwhile cut the cheese into sugar cube sized pieces. Make up the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl, then pour into a serving jug. To serve the salad, place the couscous in a large, wide salad bowl and gently fork in the cubes of cheese along with the roast vegetables. Next arrange the salad leaves on top and, just before serving, drizzle a little of the dressing over the top followed by a sprinkling of onion seeds and hand the rest of the dressing around separately.

Bilby Boost

  • The vegetables in this dish can be removed or changed out for anything you prefer - I have made this without the fennel for instance. Butternut squash or sweet potato would also work brilliantly. I used sweet potato in the photo version above.
  • This would be lovely served with grilled chicken breast fillets if you don't fancy a vegetarian meal.