This is a great salad for a crowd. The sweetness of the pumpkin combines beautifully with the cinnamon and dried fruit to give it warmth and sustenance, while the fresh herbs and toasted nuts lighten the salad. The lemon zest and dressing balances the dish.
Middle Eastern Cous Cous Salad with Spiced Pumpkin
2 packets of Israeli cous cous (I use the osem brand)
half a jap pumpkin cut into cubes
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup dried apricots, finely chopped
½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
½ bunch mint, leaves shredded
½ bunch parsley, shredded
zest of 1-2 lemons
½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tbspn honey
pinch of salt
½ tspn cinnamon
1 tbspn white balsamic vinegar
Mix together ingredients for dressing. Taste and adjust to your liking and set aside. Cook cous cous according to directions on the packet. Once it is ready, immediately place it in a wide flatish dish to cool down quickly. Mix it periodically with a fork to prevent the grains from sticking together. Add some dressing if necessary to lubricate the grains.
Spray the pumpkin with olive oil, dust lightly with cinnamon and a pinch of salt and bake on a lined tray at 190 degrees for about 40 mins or until golden. Set aside to cool.
Pour half the dressing over the cous cous and stir. Add the remaining ingredients and the pumpkin. Pour over remaining dressing and toss to combine.