The addition of orange and mint to the mixture makes this couscous recipe both colourful and refreshingly delicious. It has a summery look and taste, although it originally appeared in a winter magazine and would be perfect served as part of a summer buffet or BBQ. It was originally designed to be served with Moroccan Style Marinaded Lamb Steaks which would be perfect cooked outdoors, although I grilled them in the kitchen. There is already a recipe for the much less sweet Coriander & Chickpea Couscous Salad on this site, using preserved lemon and flavoured with fresh coriander.
The original recipe came from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue of the Tesco free instore magazine and there is also a link to Moroccan Lamb Chops with Couscous online. The couscous recipe below is my own variation with slightly adjusted quantities and the addition of a tin of chick peas to make it more substantial. The original recipe included halved red peppers which were grilled alongside the meat and then added to the couscous mixture, but I simply used a diced ungrilled red pepper.
handful mint leaves – reserve a little for final garnish
50g/2oz black olives
1tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper
1 x 400g tin chick peas
150ml/¼ pt boiling water
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. Peel two oranges and remove all of the white pith. Holding the oranges over a bowl to catch any juice, slice them between the membranes with a sharp knife and carefully divide into segments. Once the segments have been removed squeeze any remaining juice from the orange membranes before discarding.
2. Cut the remaining orange in half and squeeze out the juice, adding it to any already collected.
3. Drain and rinse the chick peas.
4. Halve, deseed and finely slice the red pepper and cut into small pieces of around 1 inch/2.5cm. Alternatively the pepper can be grilled alongside the meat, as in the original recipe, and then sliced and stirred into the couscous mixture at step 7.
5. Place the couscous in a heatproof bowl along with the chick peas, red pepper pieces and the olive oil. Pour over all the orange juice plus the boiling water.
6. Cover and allow it to stand for 5 minutes, until the couscous has absorbed the liquids.
7. Chop the mint and gently stir most of it into the couscous along with the orange segments and the black olives. Be careful not to break up the orange pieces. Season well to taste.
8. Serve the meat on a bed of fruity couscous, scattered with a little extra chopped mint.