Israeli Couscous Salad

Long time no see! (Apologies for that). I am most definitely still cooking away but have been mostly making the same things so figured I’d wait until I could bring something fresh to the table. Alas, my Sunday lunch!

I’ve eaten Israeli Couscous numerous times and have absolutely loved it! I stumbled across it in a supermarket today and thought “Yep, there’s a lunch idea!” So, since Sydney’s weather is doing its usual four seasons in one week thing and today happened to be a cold, dreary day filled with rain, figured a warm lunch with roast vegetables would be perfect! I also thought it would be an amazing accompaniment to have a layer of hummus at the bottom to mix in with all the goodness that’s already happening! Completely optional but highly recommend!

This dish can be made in about 20 minutes, stored in the fridge for later consumption and for future work lunches (YES!). So here it is:

Israeli Couscous Salad (serves two or one very hungry person – no judgement here)

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup Israeli Couscous

50 g grams shredded chicken breast (I used leftover BBQ chicken for this)

50 grams pumpkin, skin removed and cut into 2 cm cubes

5 cherry tomatoes, halved

handful rocket

20 grams feta cheese

half handful parsley, finely chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt, to season

Optional: heaped wooden spoonful hummus (preferably homemade – click the link here for my recipe:  Hummus)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
  2. Place pumpkin on a lined baking tray with the olive oil and salt. Bake until soft.
  3. Cook couscous according to packet instructions.
  4. When the pumpkin and couscous have about five minutes to go, throw the cherry tomatoes onto the same baking tray with the pumpkin and mix in with the oil and salt.
  5. Once the vegetables and couscous are cooked, you are ready for assembly. On a plate, spread the hummus in an even, thick layer.
  6. Then, in a separate bowl (or in the saucepan you used for the couscous), mix the couscous, chicken, pumpkin, tomatoes, rocket and parsley until well combined.
  7. Place bowl mixture on top of the hummus then serve with crumbled feta cheese and some additional parsley if you’re feeling it!

Israeli Couscous Salad

Beetroot and Walnut Hummus

Beetroot is just one of those amazing vegetables that will match up with pretty much anything you pair it with. It brings colour and life to every dish that it is featured in and its unique sweet yet still savoury taste continues to lure me in for more and to be as creative with it as possible! My dad had actually tried out this recipe a few weeks ago and it tasted fabulous, so I thought I’d give it a try too! However, dad being dad, when I asked him what measurements he used, he responded with “I never measure anything, I just wing it” – not very helpful when you’re a food blogger. Alas, I measured as I go and these were what measurements and ingredients I ended up with

Beetroot and Walnut Hummus (yields 1 cup)

What you’re going to need

1 fresh beetroot, cricket ball size (or if you’re lazy/willing to splash out a few extra bucks then you can buy the precooked ones – not tinned though!)

1/4 cup walnuts

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon tahini

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons water

juice of 1/2 lemon (1 teaspoon roughly, but this is a taste preference)

salt and pepper

Method

1. If you have bought a fresh beetroot, you will need to bake it first. All you have to do is cook the beet how it is (do not peel the skin) by wrapping in some foil and baking for about 45 minutes. When you can easily put a skewer through the centre, it is ready to take out. When it’s ready, remove the skin using a knive and cut the beet into small chunks. Then, put them in the freezer for about 2 minutes so they’re cool enough to work with.

2. Throw all of your ingredients except the water into a pulse blender or food processor. Blend until desired consistency is achieved (if not coming together smoothly, add a tablespoon of water at a time until you’re satisfied)

3. Serve with crackers or other vegetables such as carrots and cucumbers!

Will store in the fridge for up to a week!IMG_6169

Hummus

If someone told me I could only eat one type of dip for the rest of my life it would be hummus. My love for hummus began at a somewhat early age during my high school years when i indulged in the brand Copperpot’s Hummus. As with any food I discover, I always want to be able to create it from scratch at home! For a while, I’ve been making my own, knowing the key ingredients involved but never measured any quantities. Well, one day I decided to just measure all my ingredients and it turned out 1000x better than any hummus i’d ever made! I never really followed a recipe but for this I took guidance from a recipe found on Jamie Oliver’s website but of course added a twist to it!

Ultimate Go To Hummus 

What you’re going to need

1 x 400g tin chickpeas

2 teaspoons tahini

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt to season

Method

1. Throw all of your ingredients together into a food processor/pulse blender. Add 2 tablespoons of chickpea liquid/water into the mix. Pulse blend until a smooth consistency is achieved. If you’re finding that the mix is dry or the chickpeas are not breaking down into a smooth paste, add more chickpea water/water.

2. Serve with dipping foods such as carrots, cucumbers and crackers!

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