I’ve just eaten this for lunch and I had to share it with you. On first glance this could be a run of the mill bowl of cous cous with a bit of lettuce on the side. But look again for there are delicate surprises hidden in every delicious bite. Crunchy pistachios, cool lettuce and creamy yoghurt tangled with the subtle perfume of cumin seeds and glorious fresh mint. You had me at ‘crunchy’.
I’m a huge fan of food with plenty of texture. This healthy bowl of couscous delivers this with every crunchy mouthful. The carrots are coarsely grated so add a gentle bite but the pistachios I used were so fresh and packed a punch of a crunch. Then there’s the iceberg lettuce, surely the crispest salad leaf of them all.
I added a little dollop of lemony yoghurt and a small spoonful of my brother in law’s home made chilli jam. These are both optional so don’t feel you have to run out and buy a jar of chilli jam just for this.
I reckon some grated raw beetroot would be grand here but my son was home for lunch and he’s not keen; you could use any nuts you fancy and I dare say some crumbled feta would top this whole thing off nicely. I’m watching the calories after an indulgent few weeks (I blame the home made cakes) so the nuts were enough for me today.
Crunchy Nutty Couscous
Recipe, serves 2
- 150g couscous
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 2 small carrots, coarsely grated
- A few mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 of an iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
- 1/4 of a lime
- 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
- A big handful of shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons greek yoghurt
- Zest of 1/4 lemon
- 2 teaspoons of chilli jam (optional)
- Pop your couscous in a pot with the cumin seeds and a pinch of salt and pour over boiling water, you want to cover the couscous by about 1/2cm. Cover the pot and leave it to one side while you get on with the rest.
- If you’re making the lemony yoghurt, simply mix together the lemon zest and yoghurt and a small pinch of salt and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Spritz the lime juice over the grated carrots and chopped lettuce (I just did this on the chopping board).
- Once the couscous has fluffed up and absorbed all the water (about 7 minutes) gently stir through the mint, chickpeas and carrot.
- To serve, spoon the couscous onto the plates and pop some lettuce on one side. Sprinkle over the sesame seeds and chopped pistachios. If you’re using the yoghurt and chilli jam spoon this on any way you please.
- Dive in and get crunching.