I strongly recommend and encourage you to use Organic carrots here but if they’re homegrown, all the better. You can usually tell by their wispy piggy-tail-like ends – these bits always seem to taste the sweetest and nicest. Being simply boiled and charred in a griddle with lemon, the flavour has to good otherwise you’ll just end up chewing on a tasteless carrot stick….
The green couscous recipe is adapted from Ottolenghi and the remainder is a combination of flavours and textures I love and craved last weekend of August that raced by in the blink of my (luckily sun glass clad) eyes!
- 100g cous cous
- 150ml boiling water
- 1 small onion, finely sliced
- Ground cumin
- 25g pistachios, chopped roughly
- 1 small green chilli, chopped
- Large bunch herbs: Parsley, basil, mint, coriander, dill
- Good olive oil
- Place the couscous in a shallow bowl and season well. Add a very small knob of butter if you wish and then pour over the boiling water. Cover and set aside.
- Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan and gently and slowly fry the onion until soft and beginning to colour. Add a big pinch of cumin and fry for a few minutes before taking off the heat.
- While the onion is cooking, make the herb paste. Blend the herbs in a food processor, adding a slow stream of oil until blended nicely into a paste (The amount of oil you add here is up to you. The more you add the more moist the couscous will be).
- When the couscous has absorbed all the water, use a fork to fluff up the grains and add to the pan with the cumin onions. Add the green chilli and pistachios and finely stir through your herb paste.
- Taste and add a touch or lemon juice or seasoning or more olive oil to loosen.
- 6-8 Organic/home grown carrots, cleaned
- 1 lemon, zest
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Leave the carrots whole and cook in simmering water for about 4 minutes or so but just until tender when pierced with a knife but still with lots of bite and a bit of crunch. Drain and leave to cool and dry a little.
- Heat a griddle pan until hot and add the oil.
- Griddle the carrots until beginning to char on the outside for a few minutes
- Serve warm with the couscous, with the grated lemon zest scattered over the top.
Lamb Steaks and Yoghurt
- 2 lamb leg steaks (You can also use lamb cutlets if you wish)
- Ras el Hanout, Smoked paprika, spice mix (see here)
- Olive oil
- 150g plain yoghurt
- Pinch saffron threads
- Sprinkle a good pinch of the dry spices and spice mix over your lamb steaks. Drizzle with olive oil and massage the spices into the meat. Set aside at room temperature.
- Put the saffron in a small cup and add 1 tbsp of hot water. Leave to infuse.
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan or griddle pan until hot.
- Fry the steaks for 2 minutes per side (for a piece the thickness of mine, about 2cm, for medium) and then wrap tightly in foil and leave to rest for at least 5 minutes while you assemble the dish.
- Take the saffron water (which should be a vibrate yellow) Pour into the yoghurt with some generous seasoning and stir to combine.
- When ready to serve, carve your rested lamb and serve on top of your couscous and carrots with a generous dollop of yoghurt. Drizzle with the resting lamb juices!
Wine suggestion: Sijnn White 2012 (Chenin-Viogner)
I devoured this with a glass (or two) of Sijnn White 2012. South African, 84% Chenin Blanc, 16% Viogner. Stony fruits, peach, mineral and nutty flavour went deliciously with the spices in this dish.