Middle Eastern inspired cous cous salad with spatchcock

Ahhh, the peace of having the big guys away at their father’s for the weekend….not to mention that we can eat whatever the hell we like! Well, within reason of course, and especially for me now as I’m getting heavier and heavier and the reflux has set in 😦

We were out on Saturday afternoon to see my brother at his new framing and art gallery in Blackrock Victoria. On arrival he was in a meeting with an artist so we went for a little walk around the shops and stumbled across a wonderful little grocery store where we found a heap of little gourmet treasures, one of which was spatchcock. “Mmmmmm, dinner for Sunday” was all I could think. So, you guessed it, we bought a couple. Now what to do with them….and what to serve with them?

It seems that Middle Eastern flavours are the flavour of the month around here for some reason…could it be my pregnancy taste buds perhaps? So Middle Eastern flavours it was, but not too heavy on the spices on account of moi and my reflux….dammit! Normally I mix up my own spice blends but being a Sunday, I just couldn’t be bothered this time so I resorted to  a premixed blend…only the finest quality of course.

Cous cous salad

Ok, I’ve done it again, I didn’t measure out my cous cous but I estimate there was about 3 or 4 cups of cooked cous cous (silly me) so we’ll go with that.

3 to 4 cups of cooked cous cous. All you do to cook it is soak it in boiling water for a few minutes until tender, adding more water as needed. If you like to work with exact quantities, Google is your friend 😉

1/4 butternut pumpkin diced

2 Lebanese eggplants diced

2 medium red onions cut into wedges

1 small red capsicum roasted, peeled and diced (to roast your capsicum, place it in a hot oven until all the skin blisters, remove, allow to cool then peel)

3 to 4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

1 tsp salt

a good slurp of olive oil (enough to coat veggies)

3 tsps of your favourite Middle Eastern spice

1 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary and oregano mixed

2 tbsp of fresh chopped parsley

1/4 cup of roasted pine nuts

Handful of chopped, pitted kalamata olives

Extra olive oil for dressing

Place all veggies (except the capsicum), garlic, salt, rosemary and oregano mix and spice into a baking tray and coat well with olive oil. Bake in oven at 200°C until just tender. It doesn’t take very long so keep an eye on it. Remove from oven and set aside to cool a little. Mix the veggies and all remaining ingredients in with the cous cous and dress with enough oil to give it a nice moist texture.

Barbecued Spatchcock

2 spatchcocks

6 tsps of your favourite Middle Eastern spice blend (preferably one that goes well with the spice used in the cous cous salad, if not the same one)

Enough extra virgin olive oil to make a slightly runny rub

Juice of half a lemon

Spatchcock your spatchcock by cutting out the backbone and lying flat. If you’re not too sure how to do this, once again,  Google is your friend (I really can’t explain because I leave all bone cutting and crunching work to my trusty partner, who I do like to call my apprentice ;)) Place them into a bowl with the spice rub and coat well. Allow to sit for at east an hour but preferably overnight. Cook over a hot grill or BBQ until cooked through (about 20 minutes all up, depending on the size of the bird). Serve on a bed of the cous cous salad.

My presentation certainly wouldn’t win me Masterchef, nor is my photography particularly great, but you get the idea I’m sure. Hubby’s still raving so that’s all that matters


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