Sunday, 15 June 2014

Suma Bloggers Network: Moroccan Pearl Couscous Salad with Charred Aubergine

I'm really pleased to announce that I've become part of Suma Wholefoods new Blogger's Network. It brings together a crack team of vegan and vegetarian bloggers who will contribute recipes to the Suma site bi-monthly. I feel really privileged to get to be a part of this network and hope you will all enjoy the dishes I have to offer!
As some of you will already know, Suma have an incredible product range. If you adopt a vegetarian lifestyle or simply like to eat natural, healthy or organic products you're in the right place. I'm here to pick out some of my favourites and show you how to cook up a storm with them. Check out the Blogger's Network by following the link to the right!

As we are getting into the swing of summer I thought a lovely morocco-inspired salad would be a wonderful place to start. These are the products I chose from Suma:

(Clockwise from top: Artisan Grains Pearl Couscous, Gaea Kalamata Olives, Al'fez Preserved Lemons, and Biona Smoked Garlic Paste)

I can't resist flavours that pack a punch so I guess that's why I love Moroccan food! Such depth of flavour with sour notes, zing and a great deal of freshness. This dish, a Moroccan Pearl Couscous Salad with Charred Aubergine, is a real treat and full of flavour. It is lush on it's own, with a little garlic flatbread, or as part of a summer buffet. To serve 2, you will need:

¾ of an Aubergine
½ a pack of Artisan Grains Pearl Couscous (125g)
1 - 1½ Preserved Lemons, finely chopped
16 Kalamata Olives
Large-pea-sized piece of Biona Smoked Garlic Paste
3 tbsp good quality Olive Oil
1 tsp Coconut Oil
tsp Salt Flakes
1½ tsp Black Peppercorns, coarsely crushed
Small handful of Mint
Large handful of Parsley

Firstly slice your Aubergine into rounds about 1cm thick. Lay out on a chopping board and sprinkle with ½ tsp salt flakes. Cover with a dry tea towel and leave for at least 15 minutes.

In the meantime bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and the coconut oil. Add the pearl couscous and cook for 10-12 minutes. I prefer the couscous cooked for no more than 10 mins to keep a little bite but it is up to your personal preference. Once cooked drain and set aside.

Next pour 2 tbsp of the olive oil into a ramekin and brush over the aubergine slices until lightly coated all over. Heat your griddle pan to high for a couple of minutes then add the aubergine slices. Press them down onto the griddle to ensure they char as they cook. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side - they will start smoking but this is a good thing and will add enormously to the flavour. I need all my doors and windows open for this!! Once cooked and nicely charred remove from the pan and set aside.

Put the couscous into a bowl and fluff up with a fork. Mix the remaining olive oil with the smoked garlic paste then add to the couscous. Add the preserved lemon and olives to the bowl and mix well. 

Remove the stalks from your herbs, roughly chop and add to the bowl. Mix well and taste then season accordingly with the remaining salt and pepper. Now you're ready to serve!

This dish is lovely warm or cold and perfect for a summers day in the garden, now we just need to keep our fingers crossed for sunshine! 



  1. Great minds think alike! I went with a Morrocan theme too. Your salad looks delicious :o)

  2. So sorry Jasmine, I've only just seen your comment! Thank you! I adore your passion for growing your own, it really shines through in all your recipes and menus :)