Lemon & Pumpkin Couscous Salad

Serves 6

This is one of all time favourite salads to turn roast lamb into a summery vibe.  So easy, I’ve given all my tips on cooking couscous, which can be a little temperamental at times.  You want soft fluffy separated couscous particles, not thick stodgy clumps.  It can be tricky, but I have a fairly fool-proof method below.  

Lemon & Pumpkin Couscous Salad

Ingredients

  • ½ butternut pumpkin peeled and chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • salt & cracked black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra
  • cup pine nuts or pistachios toasted (optional)
  • ½ red large capsicum chopped
  • cup currants
  • ½ cup mint leaves sliced
  • ½ cup coriander leaves sliced
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp kalonji seeds (optional) Also known as nigella or black cumin seeds.

Instructions

UP TO THE DAY BEFORE

  • Place the pumpkin on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 200 degrees Celsius until golden on the outside and tender. Cool and store in the fridge until ready to assemble the salad.

ON THE DAY

  • Make the couscous. Choose a fairly flat based wide bowl to hydrate the couscous, to allow for even water distribution.
  • Pour in the couscous, then freshly the boiled water over top swiftly to cover evenly. (Ever so slightly more couscous is perfect so it doesn’t end up soggy.) Shake to distribute evenly then cover over and leave for a minute. This is an important step. If at this stage it isn’t evenly distributed you can end up with over absorbed parts and dry parts.
  • Break up with a fork until it’s crumbly and let it cool uncovered for 10-15 minutes before you add anything. If for any reason it is stodgy at this point. Crumble as much as you can, then just let it dry out a little at room temp. You can salvage it a little bit if needed.
  • Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and extra olive oil, to taste. At this point your couscous should be deliciously seasoned with a pop of flavour. Add the nuts and currants.
  • Cool completely before you add any salad ingredients.

TO ASSEMBLE

  • Add in the salad ingredients and gently and evenly toss through the salad.
  • Scatter over the pumpkin and gently mix through.
  • If using, scatter over the kalonji seeds, to garnish.
  • Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

TO SERVE

  • This salad is best served with a minted yoghurt or sour cream and roast lamb.
Keyword couscous, herb, lemon, Pumpkin, salad
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