I'm tending to eat less meat and more fish or vegetable-based dishes these days. I'm also a big fan of Mediterranean food. This dish, which I made yesterday, combines both these preferences. Quite honestly, it's one of the most flavoursome vegetarian meals you could ever hope to eat. Absolutely delicious! Here's the recipe.
Roast a tray of Mediterranean-type vegetables in the oven for 20-30 minutes at a very high temperature (230-240 degrees C). Beforehand coat the vegetables with plenty of extra virgin olive oil, and mix in a generous amount of crushed garlic, freshly-torn basil leaves and seasoning.
A good combination of vegetables might be: aubergine, courgette, red and yellow pepper, cherry tomato, onion. I used the vegetables I already had, so there was no aubergine or yellow pepper, but I used green pepper instead. For onions I used both red onions and shallots. (Incidentally, it's a good idea to squeeze out some of the bitter liquid from the aubergines and courgettes first. To do this, dice them, salt them, then place in a colander for half an hour with a weighted plate on top.)
While the vegetables are roasting (ah, the aroma!) pour 500 ml of boiling vegetable stock over 275 gm of couscous, season, stir and leave to one side. The liquid will soon be absorbed and the couscous will soften. Then prepare a salad dressing by whisking together 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, 2 tablespoons of tomato purée, and the juice of 2 limes (I used lemon).
Ok, now build the salad! (I love to make this in one of those wooden salad bowls and serve with a wooden fork and spoon.) Put the couscous at the bottom, fluffed up with a fork. Then spoon in a layer of roasted vegetables, to which you've added some pitted and chopped black olives and a tablespoon of capers. On top of the veg sprinkle cubes of firm goat's cheese. Finally top with mixed salad leaves and drizzle part of the dressing over them (serve the rest of the dressing in a jug on the side). Eat warm or cold. You really don't miss at all a fish or meat component to this dish. It's a meal in itself, and perfectly satisfying on its own.