Feta and couscous salad

    1 hour 20 min

    Apart from being an excellent source of starchy carbohydrate, couscous is a great background for other ingredients. In this lunch salad, both raw and lightly steamed vegetables are added to the couscous together with toasted almonds, fresh mint and creamy feta cheese. A touch of chilli gives extra bite to the dressing.

    5 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 225 g (8 oz) couscous
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) hot vegetable stock
    • 170 g (6 oz) slim asparagus spears, halved
    • 2 courgettes, cut into thin sticks
    • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
    • 30 g (1 oz) toasted flaked almonds
    • handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
    • 170 g (6 oz) feta cheese
    • Chilli dressing
    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp crushed dried chillies
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

    1. Put the couscous into a large bowl and pour over the hot stock. Set aside to soak for 15–20 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
    2. Meanwhile, steam the asparagus for 3 minutes. Add the courgettes and continue steaming for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender but still retain some crunch. Tip the vegetables into a colander and refresh under cold running water. Drain well.
    3. To make the dressing, combine the oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, chillies, and salt and pepper to taste in a screw-top jar. Shake well to blend.
    4. Fluff up the couscous with a fork, then fold in the pepper strips, almonds, mint, and steamed asparagus and courgettes. Pour over the dressing and stir gently together. Crumble the feta over the top, and serve.

    Some more ideas

    If you can get yellow courgettes, use 1 yellow and 1 green for even more colour. * Instead of, or as well as, mint, use other herbs such as chopped fresh coriander. * For a halloumi and lentil salad, cook 85 g (3 oz) Puy lentils in plenty of boiling water for 15–20 minutes or until just tender. At the same time, cook 115 g (4 oz) long-grain rice in boiling water for 10–15 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Add 170 g (6 oz) broad beans or peas (fresh or frozen) to the lentils for the last 4 minutes of the cooking time. Drain the rice and lentils well, then mix them together. Stir in 3 finely chopped spring onions, 1 red pepper, seeded and diced, and 30 g (1 oz) toasted flaked almonds. Make the chilli dressing as in the main recipe, and toss with the rice and lentil salad. Cut 170 g (6 oz) halloumi cheese into 8 slices. Brush each slice with a little extra virgin olive oil, using about 1 tbsp oil in all, then grill or griddle for a few minutes or until golden on both sides. Serve the salad topped with the cheese and an extra grinding of black pepper.

    Plus points

    Feta cheese is quite salty. If you are concerned about your sodium intake you can reduce the salt content of the cheese by soaking it in milk for 30 minutes before use (discard the milk). * Couscous, made from semolina, is low in fat and high in starchy carbohydrate. * Courgettes belong to the same family as melons, cucumbers and pumpkins. Their skin is a rich source of beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A. This vitamin helps to maintain healthy eyesight and skin, and a properly functioning immune system.

    Each serving provides

    A, C * E, folate, calcium, iron * B1, B6, B12, niacin, copper, potassium, zinc

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