Recipe: Green ‘couscous’

Oops, bit of a hiatus there, wasn’t there?  I really owe this blog another travel post, but basically, I got distracted by politics, and then I got angry about politics and then a woman in my suburb was beaten up on a train for wearing Hijab and I got absolutely furious about politics, joined Women in Solidarity with Hijabis, and put on a headscarf for a week.  Which I then felt compelled to blog about.  And it turns out that when you are writing political blogs nearly every day – and also fighting with scarves and pins every morning, though I seem to have finally mastered the art of getting my scarf to stay on – there isn’t much time left for food blogging.  Sorry.  I have a feeling that between the Islamophobia and the coming State Election, I’m going to be living on Cate Speaks rather a lot for the next little while.

Anyway, the recipe that follows is inspired by a recipe for cauliflower couscous in the Green Kitchen App, which I exhort you all to buy, because it’s awesome.  Also, it has this ribboned asparagus salad recipe with blueberries that I’ve made about four times in the last fortnight.  But, while I wanted to try the cauliflower couscous, my cauliflower was looking rather sad, and my broccoli cheerfully green. Then, couscous is supposed (in my book) to have fruit in it, and here I was with a bag of freeze-dried pomegranates.  Also, I didn’t have pumpkin seeds, but I did have a bag of mixed pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.  And so forth.

Also, my quantities are different.

What this is is a lovely, fresh-tasting recipe that can be made quite fast, and makes a lovely accompaniment to anything rich or protein-ish you were having for dinner.  And one can never have too many recipes like that, in my book.


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1 head of broccoli
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup mixed pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/3 cup freeze-dried pomegranate seeds (or, of course, you could use the seeds from 1 actual pomegranate)
half a bunch of basil
a small bunch of parsley
80 g goats feta cheese
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup pumpkin seed oil

Now what will you do with it?

Put the broccoli in a food processor, and blitz until it is in couscous-sized chunks.

Bring a pot of water to the boil, and add the broccoli and garlic – cook for 2-3 minutes, just so that it goes bright green and stops tasting raw.  Rinse briefly under cold water to stop it cooking.

Meanwhile, toast your seeds briefly in a frying pan.  See how evil I am, making you toast seeds while doing something else?  Never do that.  It’s a great route for getting burned seeds.  If you have a useful spouse or flatmate, get them onto the job instead.

Chop your herbs and crumble your feta cheese, and throw into a salad bowl with the pomegranate seeds and the pumpkin and sunflower seeds.  Add the broccoli, lemon juice and pumpkin seed oil, and toss everything together to coat.


Eat warm or at room temperature.


This recipe is vegetarian, gluten-free, egg-free and nut-free, as it stands.  It’s fairly low-GI, and so-so for FODMAPs – broccoli isn’t the absolute best, and nor is pomegranate or goat’s feta, though none of them are totally awful.  Your call, really.  This would work without the dairy, but I’d probably add some salted pistachios or something at that point, just to give it a bit more zing.  And also because they are green.

Obviously, you can make this recipe with cauliflower, and you could also substitute in other dried fruit – dried cranberries would work here, and broccoli actually likes raisins a fair bit.  If you don’t like fruit in your couscous, you could stick to herbs and add some nuts, or confetti-sized pieces of carrot to the mix.  You could then use pomegranate syrup instead of some of your lemon juice, for a more fruity tang.  And, of course, if you don’t have pumpkin seed oil, good olive oil, or a walnut oil or other nut oil would also be lovely.

PS – for those who are curious, this is what I look like in a headscarf.  I sort of wish it didn’t have to be a political thing, really, because I reckon it suits me!

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1 comment for “Recipe: Green ‘couscous’

  1. October 17, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    the headscarf does suit you – better to enjoy that than to get into a rant about leadership and what sort of example our government is doing (and I am sure you do it must more articulately than me) – I am working my energy up to making a soft cashew cheese which I am sure would go very nicely in this salad.

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