Author Notes: One of our staple dishes at the restaurant is Couscous, Bulgur or Quinoa Salad with roasted vegetables. One day, Sara, a usual customer, came in the restaurant saying she was on a gluten free diet so she couldn’t eat couscous and could I make her a salad of some kind. I had 8 minutes to come up with a salad for her and I looked through my pantry and found a tin of pre-cooked lentils and a can of artichoke hearts. That was the basis of my salad. As I always have roasted vegetables, I just added whatever I had. She loved the salad, asked me to re-do it again, and since then it has become one of the restaurant's favourite vegetarian dishes, to which I add either Couscous, Bulgur or Quinoa. - Maria Teresa Jorge
- 1 cup pre-cooked green lentils
- 1 cup couscous
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 cup mixed roasted vegetables (aubergines, squash, courgettes, parsnips, carrots, sweet potato)
- 2 artichoke hearts, either whole or quartered, if canned better in water
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced with a mandolin
- 2 very fresh mozzarella (if you fin Burratta, it’s worth the purchase)
- 1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts
- 1 tablespoon roasted sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 3/4 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- Vinaigrette Sauce
- Dissolve the salt and mustard in the vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil to create an emulsion.
- Cut the red onion in a mandolin and pour the vinaigrette sauce over it and set aside.
- Warm Salad
- Tear the mozzarella with your hands so it has irregular shape and put it in a colander to drain excess water.
- Bring 2 cups of water to the boil.
- Put the couscous in a aluminium or pyrex tray, add salt and 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and mix with your hands until all the grains are well coated with olive oil.
- Add 2 cups of water, mix well to cover all the grains with water, cover with aluminium foil and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir with a fork to loosen up all the grains and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle with your hands, mix with your hands to loosen all the grains very well.
- Remove the onion from the dressing and add to the couscous.
- Warm the lentils and all the roasted vegetables.
- Quarter the artichoke hearts and set aside.
- Toss the vegetables and lentils in the couscous and mix all together. Add ¼ cup of the vinaigrette and stir.
- Put the mixture in a big bowl or big serving plate, divide the mozzarella and quartered artichoke hearts on top, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, the hazelnuts and sunflower seeds and sprinkle with the coriander.
- Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.
- Note: you can substitute the couscous by bulgur or quinoa, works very well with both cereals.