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.
ISRAELI COUSCOUS WITH HAZELNUTS, FIGS AND FETA
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
2 tsp dukkah
a small handful of fresh mint
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
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.