A salad for you, wherever you are19

Posted on April 24, 2008 by ChristieDinner Time

[Lamb, eggplant and feta cous cous salad]

This is my mini attempt at globalising my blog; a salad that appeals for the weather in both hemispheres.

It’s Spring in the North, flowers are blooming and it’s warming up, so make the most of gorgeous seasonal lamb.

It’s Autumn in the South, but please don’t indulge in stodgy food just yet, choose to eat this warm salad instead.

I’m a firm believer that salads are not just a Summer thing, they’re more than just leaves and dressing, and if you think outside those constraints the possibilities are endless. Warm, cold, hot, room temperature – they’re all good. It’s no coincidence that the salads category in my recipe index has the most entries!

I really love the creativity of composing salads; choosing the protein, carbohydrate and vegetable elements, harmonising the salty, bitter, sweet and sour flavours and balancing the soft, crunchy, hot and cold textures. It’s a real art form and one I never tire of.

After reading this back, I’m hoping you don’t all think I’m crazy talking about salads like this! Please let me know if you feel this way too…

Cous cous is a grain that I’ve only been cooking with for about a year now. Believe it or not, I used to hate cous cous, and all because of my first experience at a cafe where it was served drier than uncared for elbow skin. (Sorry for the gross reference).

Dryness is the enemy of cous cous; the crucial element is a delicious hot liquid for the grains to soak up and transform into heavenly fluffy goodness. Not too much, mind you, or it becomes clumpy. But with just the right amount you’ll have the perfect side dish or salad base in approximately 10mins.

I hope you’ll give this salad a go – it’s deeply savoury and extremely satisfying. Feel free to substitute any ingredients that you don’t particularly fancy, I’ve even provided some suggestions at the end.

Happy cooking, Christie

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Lamb, eggplant and feta cous cous salad
serves 4 (as a main course salad)

This salad is just as delicious without the lamb for all my lovely vegetarian readers. Obviously hot vegetable stock would also need to be substituted.

1/2 cup cous cous
3/4 cup hot chicken stock
4 tablespoons semi dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant, skin on, diced
2 lamb steaks or chops, approx 200g each
100g goats milk feta cheese, diced or crumbled
4 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested

Spread the diced eggplant onto a large baking tray in one layer. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a hot oven for 20 minutes, or until tender and crisped around the edges.

Meanwhile, place the cous cous, hot chicken stock and tomatoes in a large bowl, stir to combine, then cover with a tea towel or cling wrap and set aside for 10 mins.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy frying pan and cook the lamb chops to your liking. (I did mine rare, pictured above). Remove to a plate and rest in a warm place while you prepare the salad.

Fluff the cous cous mixture with a fork and add the eggplant, feta, parsley, lemon juice and zest and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season if necessary and serve topped with the lamb. Enjoy!

Need variations? Try these.
Vegie: Sweet potato is a good substitute for the eggplant.
Herby: Coriander (cilantro), mint or basil would also work a treat.
Chicky: Grilled or roasted chicken could easily replace the lamb.

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  • That salad looks so tasty! The lamb looks nicely cooked with a bit of pink in the center.

  • THAT…is not a salad. It is a delicious monster meal. I’ll have mine with lamb, thanks.

  • I’m sold on this lamb dish. I too would say it’s a main rather than a salad but tempting no doubt!

  • Hi Kevin,
    Thanks, yes, lamb must be pink in order to be enjoyed. That’s my opinion ;)

    Hi Nina and Peter,
    OK guys, point taken. I’ve added this dish to my meat category too – but if I didn’t make it a salad then I wouldn’t have been able to go on my crazy salad rant :)

  • It’s Spring right here but feels like summer. It’s humid too :(

    I’ll try to relax with this salad. Thanks. :)

  • This looks great. This weekend is Greek Orthodox Easter, and I’m expecting to have a LOT of lamb leftovers. Thanks for helping me figure out what to do with them!

  • What a beautiful salad. I have a ton of couscous I need to use up…and wouldn’t you know it I have some lamb. I will try to recreate this.

  • Your photo spoke to me… and then I saw your headline. Talk about roping your audience in! But it’s 1am and I’m starving now…

  • Hi Tigerfish,
    Don’t complain about great weather! :) I’m dying to get back to Sydney next week after this horrible cold snap in the UK. Enjoy the salad.

    Hi Fearless Kitchen,
    Perfect timing and Happy Easter!

    Hi Noble Pig,
    Love that name! Let me know how you go.

    Hi Marc,
    Hehe, I try my best! Sorry to tempt you late at night :)

  • My goodness, that looks incredibly delicious. And it’s only 10:30am and I am nowhere near a piece of lamb.

    I think you should rename your blog Fig & Lamb. ;-)

  • wow. that looks packed full with everything good for you. never too good to read foodblogs when you’re hungry too. :)

  • Hey Tangobaby,
    Fig & Lamb, I like the sound of that!

    Hi Diva,
    Thanks and I agree!

  • Lovely! Very creative how you brought in both hemispheres . . . only now you’ve got me craving tomatoes and eggplant ;-).

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  • Thanks for this yum looking recipe! I was just trying to figure out what to have for dinner…and these are pretty much all my fave foods…tomatoes, eggplant, goat cheese, cous cous! can’t wait!

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  • Looks amazing! I love feta cheese, so definitely looking forward to trying this recipe.

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