Monday, 13 June 2011

Israeli cous cous with hazelnuts, figs and feta

I'm always looking for new ways to keep my lunchboxes fresh and interesting and this Israeli couscous ticks all the right boxes; it has a more toothsome texture than fine couscous and looks enticing enough to distract me from the lure of the vending machine until 1pm.

This amount makes enough for two (slightly greedy) lunches. I had the first without the feta as a vegan alternative, then gussied it up with some moist, crumbly cheese for the second. The roasted lemon makes a wonderfully mellow citrus dressing - I like to keep a wedge back to squeeze over just before eating.


175g Israeli couscous
1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 bulb garlic, separated into cloves, but left unpeeled
3 fresh figs
1 lemon, halved
75g hazelnuts
2 tsp dukkah
a small handful of fresh mint
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
olive oil
750ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper

75g feta, crumbled (optional)

1) Stir the pomegranate molasses and 2½ tablespoons of olive oil together in a large bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper, then toss the onion segments, garlic, figs and lemon halves in the mixture. Turn out into a roasting tin, then bake at 400f/200c/gas mark 6 for 15-18 minutes, until roasted and soft.

2) Meanwhile, bring the stock up to the boil in a saucepan, then simmer the couscous for about 5 minutes, or until it is translucent but still has a little bite to it. Drain and immerse in cold water for a minute, then drain again.

3) Toss the hazelnuts in a teaspoon of olive oil then scatter over the dukkah and toast on a baking tray at 400f/200c/gas mark 6 for 5 minutes, until golden. Now pop the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, rip up the mint, and gently stir together with all the other ingredients, squeezing over the juice from the roasted lemons. If you'd like a more substantial meal from this, add the feta.


  1. That is making my mouth water x

  2. Thanks Ish. I'm very keen on Israeli couscous now, it's quite a different beast to the other type - try it!

  3. This looks absolutely gorgeous! I'll definitely be trying this when I can work out where to buy Israeli cous cous. Where did you get yours?

  4. Hi Sarah,

    I got mine from the giant Whole Foods store in High St Kensington - I don't suppose you're near London? I remember seeing it in a very large branch of Holland & Barrett a while ago but since then not a sausage! Good luck!

  5. Unfortunately not; I'm in deepest, darkest Somerset. I'll be heading for the big smoke next month though I'll have to keep my eyes peeled :¬)

  6. gourgeous. can't wait to make this! bet it would taste fab with some pomegranite!!

  7. What a stunning looking dish! I CAN'T WAIT to try it, it's making me angry that I have Thai takeaway on the way!


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