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Spiced Chickpea, Couscous and Haloumi plate

Food

Another quick and tasty meal idea today, this time inspired by Middle Eastern flavours (sort of).

Once again, today’s dish takes full advantage of store-bought and pre-cooked bits and pieces, to minimise prep time in the kitchen. Canned chickpeas and store-bought hommous are my new best friends!

Also, FRIED HALOUMI. Always a good idea.

9th February, 2016

Spiced chickpea, couscous and haloumi plate. Ceramic small bowl and small ceramic bowl by Sarah Schembri. Gold Cutipol cutlery from Francalia. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Ingredients for the spiced chickpea, couscous and haloumi plate. Ceramic small bowl by Sarah Schembri, Flat plate and black plate by Shiko ceramics. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Spiced chickpea, couscous and haloumi plate. Ceramic small bowl and small ceramic bowl by Sarah Schembri. Gold Cutipol cutlery from Francalia. Styling – Lucy Feagins, styling assistant – Nat Turnbull, photo – Eve Wilson.

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 9th February 2016

Couscous doesn’t seem very cool anymore. These days, its all about freekah, and quinoa… and ‘ancient grains’. Well, there’s one excellent thing about couscous which everyone seems to have forgotten – it’s the quickest, easiest ingredient in the world to prepare. No more effort than a cup of tea – seriously! Simply cover your couscous with boiling water and 60 seconds later, voila! SURELY it’s time for a couscous comeback!?

Once again, today’s dish takes full advantage of store-bought and pre-cooked bits and pieces, to minimise prep time. We’re rinsed and re-fried canned chickpeas in a little sumac, salt and pepper to give them a lift, and we’ve included store-bought hommous, because sadly the days of making homemade dip appear to be behind me (at least for now!).

And then there’s fried HALOUMI. Which really speaks for itself… I would eat it with every meal if I could!

Ingredients (serves one)

90g haloumi cheese

1 cup couscous

125g (single serve) can of cooked chickpeas

1 crunchy baby cucumber

3 cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon hommous

few sprigs fresh parsley

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon hulled tahini

½ tablespoon lemon juice

A tablespoon or so of sumac

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Cook your couscous according to packet instructions. (Usually this means simply covering a cup of couscous with a cup of boiled water for around 1-2 minutes, then fluffing the cooked cous cous with a fork). Season well with sumac, salt and pepper (if desired, you can add a knob of butter too).

Prep your little salad. Simply chop your cherry tomatoes and mini cucumber into bite-sized pieces and dress with a simple dressing – about half a tablespoon of olive oil, half a tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of tahini and some finely chopped parsley. Mix well, and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Rinse your chickpeas and briefly fry in a little olive oil with sumac, salt and pepper to taste. Fry until warm and a little browned – about 5 minutes.

Right before serving up, it’s time to fry your haloumi. Use pieces about 1cm thick to ensure they cook evenly all the wall through. Add a dash of olive oil to a non-stick frypan. Pop the cheese in only when the pan is quite hot. Cook for about 60 seconds on each side or until golden brown.

Plate up your spiced couscous, fried chickpeas, tomato and cucumber salad and haloumi. Add a generous splodge of store bought hommous, and sprinkle the whole plate with a little more sumac to serve.

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