Couscous Balls – Seriously it works
I jumped up and down when it did, a happy combination.
Sometimes towards the end of the week, I look in my fridge and wonder what to do with its contents. This is cooking off-piste and actually the most exciting and creative. Somethings are nearly there and need tweaking, somethings just work straight away. I had ½ a butternut squash, a bunch of spinach and some cooked couscous left from a previous dish. Drum roll please as I lift the tea towel and bring you………
COUSCOUS BALLS A NEW WAY TO EAT COUSCOUS
I ate six in the testing and they sold so quickly I had to make another batch. First time around I used fresh spinach, apricots and blue cheese because that is what I had to hand, in the second batch I used frozen spinach, feta and cranberries, which I photographed. The soft centre and crunchy outside make this dish a versatile winner, use what you have. I served them with an aubergine relish that I made and then a fig relish that was store bought, they are not fussy and ate well with both. On a salad or in a wrap or pita, try them. You’re welcome!!
You will need
- ½ butternut squash/pumpkin
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- salt and ground pepper
- 300g of couscous
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp Turmeric
- boiling water to cover about 2½ – 3 cups
- 1 small red onion
- 100g cooked spinach
- a handful of dried cranberries
- 200g feta cubed
- 2 large eggs
- dried breadcrumbs
- sesame seeds
- oil for frying
You can play around with these ingredients and ratios. Try sweet potato instead of pumpkin.
Preheat the oven to about 180°. Peel, deseed and cube the pumpkin. Massage in 1 tbsp oil, season and pop in the oven to cook until just soft, about 30 mins but check at 25 mins. Take out and allow to cool
Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and stir in the turmeric and salt. Add the other tbsp of oil use your fingers to rub the oil into the couscous until it looks like wet sand. Pour over the water and cover with a tea towel and leave to 10 minutes. I use a fork and stir a couple of times if I remember. When the couscous is cool enough to handle get back in with your hands and break down any lumps with your fingertips, lifting your hands up and letting the grains fall back into the bowl.
Dice the onions and saute in a little oil until clear. Turn the heat off, add the spinach. and stir in.
Combine the couscous, roasted pumpkin, spinach and onion mix, cranberries and feta.
Make into golf ball sized rounds with damp hands.
Lightly beat the eggs, add a tsp of water to help with the coating. Mix the breadcrumbs with the sesame seeds.
Now roll the balls in the egg then the breadcrumbs.
I shallow fried to finish because I had some stale brioche to use, but a healthier option would be to omit the egg and breadcrumb layer and simply roll in sesame, put onto an oiled oven tray and bake for about 30 mins on a low heat 150° or until golden brown.