This is a fabulously aromatic lemony vegetarian dish made with Zatar – a Middle Eastern mix of toasted sesame seeds, thyme, salt and sumac (a spice from a flowering plant). Use any vegetables you like, as long as you cut them into chunks of similar size so that they cook at the same rate. Serve on a bed of freshly prepared couscous and feta cheese for a delicious, light finish to this healthy dinner or hearty lunch that the whole family can enjoy.
- For the marinade:
- 2tsp Zatar
- 1-2tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- For the veggies:
- ½ butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
- 2 courgettes, cut into 2 cm chunks
- 1 red pepper, cut into 2 cm chunks
- 1 green pepper, cut into 2cm chunks
- 1 lemon, cut into eighths
- 200g chick peas (from a can, drained)
- To serve:
- 50g feta cheese, cut into very small cubes
- 100g couscous
Prepared the couscous with enough boiling water to cover it with 1 cm at top. Leave to absorb for a few mins, then fluff up with a fork
In a large bowl, toss all the veggies and lemon chunks together with the Zatar marinate. Leave to marinade for 1 hour or more to allow the flavours to absorb.
Transfer to a shallow roasting dish and cook in the oven, preheated to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 40-45 mins, until the veg is very tender. Ten minutes before the end, add the chick peas (if you add them before, they turn into shotgun pellets!)
Mix the feta into the prepared couscous. Serve the veggies piled on top of the couscous.
Top tip for making Spiced Mediterranean vegetables with lemon, couscous and feta
On its own, couscous is very bland, but it is a great vehicle for other flavours, so experiment with your favourites