I love the texture of pearl cous cous, it’s got bite to it like a pasta, but the secret to making it truly delicious is making sure you brown it well in a pan before adding stock to it. It brings out this delicious toasted nutty flavour that’s so good with the pumpkin and feta in this salad.
You can leave out the chicken breast if you don’t eat meat or perhaps add an egg or coat some tempeh in the spices and give that a quick pan fry. The spices on the chicken and a nice gentle heat that works well with the nutty couscous and creamy feta. The herbs bring everything together and ad a whole lot of freshness to this salad.
I’ve mentioned that you could use red onion instead of spring onion in this, I always use spring because I can’t eat ref, but some finely sliced red onion would be delicious in this, I like to soak red onion in a little water before adding it raw to anything, I find it mellows the flavour just a little bit so it’s not the only thing you taste. That said, it’s been a long time since I ate onion (excuse me while I day dream about onion and all it’s deliciousness for a bit).
If you’re the impatient type and want it ready quickly make sure you cut the pumpkin small so it cooks quickly. I’ve been having cravings for this salad, it’s just so simple and delicious! Friggin’ love when my cravings are for salads, makes me feel like a saint…
400g pumpkin, in 2cm cubes (approx)
1 tbs olive oil
1 Tbs chilli flakes
1 Tbs olive oil
250g pearl cous cous
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
2 cups chicken stock/bone broth/water
2 small chicken breasts
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1.5 cups flat parsley leaves
1.5 cups torn basil leaves
1/2 cup spring onion (or red onion finely chopped if you prefer)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
drizzle of olive oil.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Spread pumpkin on tray in a single layer, sprinkle with chilli flakes and drizzle in 1 Tbs olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until cooked.
Heat 1 Tbs of olive oil in a large heavy based pan. Add cous cous and cook, stirring frequently until toasted and golden brown. Add chopped parsley and water/stock and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente. Remove from pan.
Place chicken on a board and sprinkle in oregano and chilli powder, drizzle in 1 tsp of olive oil. Massage spices and oil into the breasts. Season. Place pan back on a medium high heat and add chicken. Cook for 3 minutes either side and then place a lid on the pan, turn heat down and continue cooking for 3 more minutes.
In a large bowl combine the herbs, lemon zest, couscous, pumpkin, onion and feta. Toss, squeeze over lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil and toss again. Serve on plates or in a large flat bowl.
Cut chicken into 1cm thick slices and place on top of the salad.