Tag Archives: Couscous

Recipe of the Week – 26th March 2018 – Moroccan Giant Couscous Salad

This is a great recipe if you’re looking for a filling but nutritious lunch idea, but don’t have a lot of time (I’m in this situation quite often!). I have based this on a traditional Moroccan side dish, but modified it a bit to include the flavours that I particularly like, and most variations work really well in a warm salad like this – the addition of pine nuts and roasted peppers is also recommended!

Serves 4 to 6


300g Giant wholewheat couscous

600ml good quality stock from bouillon

2 small red onions, sliced

3 tbs olive oil

1 aubergine, cut into 2cm dice

50g sultanas

6 baby tomatoes, halved

1 tbs ras-el-hanout

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g fresh spinach leaves, rinsed


1. Place the aubergine cubes in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave to drain for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, place the giant couscous in a large saucepan, add 400ml of the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes. Rinse and set aside.

3. Add the oil to a large saucepan (I used a wok), and gently sauté the onions and rinsed aubergine cubes for 10 minutes.

4. Add the spices, mix well to combine, and sauté for a further 5 minutes.

5. Add the couscous, chopped tomatoes and sultanas together with the remaining stock. Stir well and cover then simmer for a final 5 minutes.

6. Serve warm on a bed of spinach leaves and with flatbreads if preferred.


Recipe of the Week – 29th January 2018 – Warm Middle Eastern Couscous Salad

This is a nice filling, yet healthy recipe which is something a bit different but ideal for cold winter evenings. This is my variation on a traditional warm salad recipe, which would work really well as party food too. This recipe is also easily adaptable to make it dairy-free using soya mince and vegan cheese. Enjoy!

Serves 4


200g Wholewheat Giant Couscous

500ml good quality stock made from Bouillon

2 large onions, sliced

1 green pepper, sliced

100g Quorn mince (or vegan Soya alternative)

Large handful of fresh spinach leaves

5 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 wholewheat pitta breads

100g feta cheese, diced (optional)

For the dressing;

4 tsp Baharat

2 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Lightly fry the Couscous in 2 tbs of the olive oil for 2 minutes until slightly golden then add the stock. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to a wok or large frying pan and sauté the onions and mince for 5 minutes. Add the pepper slices and fry for a further 5 minutes.

3. Add the Couscous and spinach to the onion mixture and mix well. Pour into a large salad bowl.

4. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together then drizzle over the salad.

5. Top with toasted pitta pieces and the diced feta and serve at room temperature.

Recipe of the Week – 4th July 2016 – Moroccan Butternut Squash Couscous

This is a really simple but very satisfying recipe that makes a great quick lunch. I made this as an alternative Sunday lunch to give me a break from gravy! This is very nice the next day served cold, too.

Serves 4


1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 cm dice

300g dried couscous

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs ras-el-hanout

1 tbs ground cumin

1 tbs ground cinnamon

1 pomegranate, seeds removed

300ml vegetable stock from good quality bouillon 

2 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped

200ml natural yoghurt


1. Preheat the oven to 220C.

2. Place the butternut squash cubes in a large bowl, add the oil and spices and mix together well. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until soft.

3. In another large bowl, add the coucous and stock, mix together well and leave for 10 minutes. Mix in the chopped parsley and season.

4. Finally, mix together the butternut squash and couscous, and serve with drizzled yoghurt and the pomegranate seeds.

Recipe of the Week – 16th November 2015 – Couscous Vegetable Loaf

I have been looking for an alternative nut loaf type recipe for a while, as an alternative centrepiece to a Sunday lunch, but for people with nut allergies. This is an adaptation of a recipe I read about, and I tried it out in my cafe this week. It seems to be a success, and worked really well with a warm smokey tomato sauce topping.

Serves 6


500g wholegrain couscous

1 litre of good quality vegetable stock from bouillon

60ml extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 medium courgette, finely diced

1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 ripe tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tbs ground coriander

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp garam masala

a large handful of basil leaves

1 tbs lemon juice

3 tbs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


1. Put the couscous in a bowl, pour the hot stock and lemon juice over and leave for 10 minutes.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the tomatoes, pepper and courgette and simmer for 5 minutes. 

4. Line a large baking tray or two loaf tins with grease proof paper.

5. Chop the basil and parsley, and mix together with the couscous and vegetables in a large bowl.

6. Season to taste then add to the container. Add another layer of grease roof paper over the mixture and weigh down to compress. Place in the fridge overnight.

7. Serve warm with a tomato and smoked paprika sauce topping, with a side salad.

Recipe of the Week – 5th May 2014 – Giant Couscous and Aubergine Salad

Now that the weather is getting a bit warmer I am starting to experiment with a few different salads here at Pulse Cafe. This is a variation on one which is simple to construct but really tasty. I’ve been snacking on this in pittas all week!

Serves 4 or 8 as a side salad


200g Giant Couscous
1 large aubergine, cut into 1cm dice
1 x 400g tin chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 orange or red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs Ras el hanout
1 tbs cumin seeds, toasted
1 tbs dried mint
Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
100g feta cheese, crumbled


1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

2. Place the couscous in a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. Place the aubergine cubes in a roasting tin, cover with the oil, season and roast for 25 minutes until soft.

4. Toss the chick peas in a bowl with the lemon juice, ras el hanout and cumin seeds. Add the couscous, season and set aside.

5. Toss the herbs in with the couscous, gently mix in the aubergine and pepper cubes and crumble over the feta.

6. Serve with flatbreads or a green salad.

Recipe of the Week – 26th August 2013 – Roasted Paprika Cauliflower with Couscous


This is a variation on a recipe I found recently, but have given it a bit of a twist by using paprika rather than chilli, and modifying a few other things to make it more child-friendly for my discerning family! I have always loved roasted cauliflower, especially the way it takes all the bitterness out of what I think is an underused vegetable. I will definitely be putting this on the menu of my cafe when I open!

Serves 4


1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
1 x 400g can good quality chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
50ml olive oil
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs pine nuts
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Small handful of roughly chopped parsley
2 tbs fresh lemon juice

For the couscous;

200g couscous
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 175C.

2. Heat the oil in a large wok and the cauliflower and sugar and cook over a low heat, until the cauliflower begins to soften then raise the heat to brown the cauliflower for a further 5 minutes.


3. Add the tomatoes and paprika, season, then cook for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the pine nuts, chopped garlic and 50ml water, stir well then transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish. Bake for about 30 minutes then stir in the parsley and lemon juice and let stand at room temperature.

5. Meanwhile, add enough boiling water to the couscous to cover by approx. 1 cm, add the lemon juice, oil and seasoning and stir well. Cover and leave for 10 minutes.

6. When absorbed, break up the couscous with a fork, and serve with the warm cauliflower.

Recipe of the Week – 5th August 2013 – Moroccan Couscous Stuffed Marrows

I think marrow is a bit of an underused vegetable, and I sometimes struggle to get inspiration when I have bought one, but this recipe seems to have worked out really well. There are lots of variations that you could try – adding sultanas, pine nuts, breadcrumbs, feta or veggie Parmesan, etc. This is actually loosely based on a recipe that uses chorizo, so I used VPud veggie black pudding! There is no cheese on this one so this variant is vegan too.

Serves 6


1 large marrow, halved and deseeded
120g couscous (I used a mixture of normal and giant)
1 x 200g VPud black pudding, cut into chunks
2 tbs lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
2 large fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 tbs fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbs fresh mint, roughly chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbs sumac


1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
2. Put the couscous in a large bowl with the lemon juice and cover with boiling water before covering the bowl and leaving for 10 minutes. If using giant couscous, put in a saucepan and boil for 8-10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbs of the olive oil in a large frying pan and gently sauté the onion for 5 minutes before adding the black pudding. Fry for a further 2 minutes before adding the red pepper and then fry gently for a further 5 minutes until soft.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes, couscous and herbs to the other ingredients and simmer gently for 2 minutes.
5. Spoon the mixture in hollowed out marrow halves and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes until light brown.
6. Sprinkle the sumac over the marrows and garnish with more parsley. Serve with herby potatoes or fresh crusty bread.