Maftoul salad makes a great lunch or light dinner. Maftoul - giant cous cous - is made from wheat dough rolled into small balls, and dried before cooking at home. Our maftoul salad is a feast for the eyes and palate: bright orange carrots roast with cumin, the pink of sumac pickled onions, sharp white feta, sweet dates, and the bright green of fresh mint. The pomegranate molasses dressing has a light sharpness that complements the rich simmered maftoul grains.
Cooked carrots should no longer be just a side dish for a Sunday dinner. Quick roasting brings out a sweetness and tenderness that is welcome as the centrepiece of a salad.
The photographs don't show the tahini sauce - that was a last minute addition. But almost everything tastes better with tahini sauce. Think of it as Israeli mayonnaise. Salads, roast chicken, celery sticks, we'll add it to pretty much anything!
Ingredients Serves: 4
- 700g carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp salt, divided into two
- 250g maftoul giant couscous
- 600ml chicken or vegetable stock, boiling
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp sumac
- ½ tsp sugar
- 8 dates, pitted, sliced lengthways into quarters
- 50g mint leaves, half chopped and half separated into whole leaves
- 50g rocket leaves
- 200g feta cheese, cut into
- 1cm cubes
For the tahini sauce
- 100g tahini
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Ice-cold water
- Heat your oven to 200C. Cut the carrots in half lengthways, and slice on the diagonal into 1cm moons. Toss carrot slices in 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt and cumin and spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile simmer the maftoul in the boiling stock for 20 minutes. When cooked, drain and rinse with cold water to cool.
- While the carrots and maftoul are cooking, lightly pickle the red onions. Stir red onion slices together with the vinegar, sumac, sugar and ½ tsp salt and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
- For the salad dressing, whisk together olive oil, orange juice and pomegranate molasses. In a separate bowl, prepare the tahini sauce. Whisk the lemon juice into the tahini. It will seize and thicken. Slowly add iced water a few tablespoons at a time, and continue whisking between each addition. It is ready when you have the consistency of a runny mayonnaise.
- To assemble the salad, toss together roasted carrots, maftoul, sliced dates, chopped mint, rocket, feta, pickled red onion, and dressing. Serve warm or cold with tahini sauce on the side.