This recipe is from Honey & Co‘s cookbook, Food From the Middle East. Honey & Co is one of my favourite London restaurants. It is run by Itamar and Sarit Packer an Israeli husband and wife, both with great culinary experience. Most notably, Sarit was previously the pastry chef for Ottolenghi and executive head chef for Nopi. The restaurant isn’t new, but it is always worth making a booking because it’s so popular.
The original recipe uses Israeli cous cous, also known as pearl cous cous or ptitim, this is the larger version of the cous cous you would be familiar with. I use whatever I have to hand, but if you do see the larger cous cous in a specialty shop do buy and try it with that as it has a lovely texture.
This is one of those great summery salad recipes that you can serve alongside a bunch of other great salads (like this bean salad or this carrot and avocado salad), you can experiment with the ingredients and what you add. It’s also great for leftovers.
- 2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 leek, washed and sliced
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 preserved lemon, diced (about 2 tbsp)
- 250 g Israeli couscous
- 700 ml boiling water
- 200 g fresh peas (shelled)
- 4 sprigs of mint
- 4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
- 100 g goats cheese
Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Saute the leeks and garlic on a medium heat for 2–3 minutes to soften, then add the salt and preserved lemon, and stir to combine. Tip in the Israeli cous cous and continue frying for another 2 minutes or until the little couscous balls start to go golden.
Add half the boiling water and the peas. Boil until most of the water has soaked in, then add the rest of the water and cook on a high heat until it has also been sucked up by the cous cous.
Remove from the heat, add the roughly chopped mint and parsley and stir well. Finally crumble the goats cheese all over and serve.