The combination of lean, slightly pink lamb, watermelon and feta cheese is already a winner but add the nut, seed and spice mix and this becomes way more than just any old salad - it quickly becomes a household staple (and has ‘picnic’ written all over it as it stays fresh and delicious for hours in a sealed container!) —Fiona Kirk
- Serves 4
coarsely-ground black epper
sea salt crystals
zest and juice of 1 lemon
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
light olive oil or coconut oil
lean lamb fillet in one piece
watermelon, skinned, de-seeded and sliced or diced
Greek feta cheese, crudely crumbled
small bag watercress (tough stalks removed)
- Dry fry the hazelnuts in a shallow sauté pan over a medium heat until they are golden brown and crunchy (watch them, they have a nasty habit of burning when you take your eye off them!)
- Immediately put them between a few sheets of kitchen roll and rub vigorously until most of the outer skins come off then transfer them to a mortar and pestle or grinder and bash/grind until they are coarsely chopped.
- In the same pan, toast the sesame seeds until golden before adding to the hazelnuts.
- In the same pan, toast the coriander and cumin seeds until they start to ‘pop’ before transferring them to a mortar and pestle or grinder and blitzing until they are finely crushed then add them to the hazelnut/sesame seed mix.
- Add the salt and pepper, mix well and set aside. Whisk the lemon zest, lemon juice, honey and the extra virgin olive oil in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
- Put the couscous in a medium-sized bowl, gradually pour over the boiling water, mixing with a fork all the time, cover and leave for around 10 minutes.
- Heat the light olive oil or coconut oil in a sauté pan and over a relatively high heat, brown the lamb fillet on all sides before turning down the heat and continuing to cook for a further 5 minutes if you like it pink, 8 minutes if you like it medium and 10 minutes if you like it well-done. Turn the fillet regularly.
- Remove the lamb from the pan, spread the nut, seed and spice mix on a board and roll the lamb in it until it is well-coated before wrapping in foil to keep warm.
- Fork through the couscous to make sure all the grains are separated before adding the lemon/honey/oil mix and stirring to ensure it is well incorporated.
- Place a portion of couscous on each plate, top with the lamb (finely sliced) and arrange the feta, watermelon and watercress around the plate.
- NB: The nut, seed and spice mix will keep in the fridge in a sealed jar for a couple of weeks if you choose to make it beforehand or double the quantities and makes a delicious soup, stew, salad and open sandwich topping.