Maftoul salad with roasted vegetables

A seasonal recipe for Palestinian giant couscous, also known as maftoul or maftool – you can spell it both ways!

Simply toss the maftoul with roasted courgettes and peppers, and drizzle with a lemon and harissa dressing.


Serves 4

  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, halved and deseeded
  • 2 courgettes 
  • 4 garlic cloves, leave skin on
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 50g whole almonds
  • 200g giant couscous maftoul
  • 400ml hot vegetable stock 
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • a small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
  • Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the peppers into bite-size pieces and slice the courgettes in ribbons. Tip into a baking tray and add the garlic, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, season to taste and mix with your hands.
  • Roast for 15 mins, and then take the tray out of the oven and add the onion, cumin, harissa and almonds. Roast for another 15 mins, then cool.
  • Simmer the maftoul in the stock for 12-15 mins, then set aside for 10 mins to cool.
  • Next make the dressing by mixing the zest and juice of the lemon with the remaining olive oil. Then squeeze the garlic pulp from skins and add to the dressing. Mash well and stir in the mint.
  • Pour the dressing over the roasted peppers and courgettes, and then toss together with the maftoul.
  • Serve with extra toppings to taste eg. cubes of feta, chopped almonds, roasted chickpeas, cress or edible flowers.
What is Maftoul? Known as maftoul, maftool or Palestinian giant couscous, it is hand-rolled by women who get together after the harvest to crack, hand-roll and dry the large grains in the abundant Palestinian sunshine, just as their grandmothers have done for generations

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