Thank goodness for Neil Perry!
I’m not sure if air travel would be half as pleasant without his involvement with Qantas, but considering I’m always looking forward to late afternoon flights because of their lounge food selection, I think he has managed to make plane food actually quite exciting. In fact, I have been so impressed with one of the Qantas Club salads I had the other week, that I have decided to recreate something similar at home.
I could not recall exactly what was in the salad because I wolfed it down after a full day of moving house, but my own version had the basics and turned out equally as delicious and quite easy to make. Spiced with dukkah, the flavours work well and the textures of cous cous, big chunks of roasted pumpkin, canned lentils and finley chopped coriander completed the mix.
We served it as a side at a barbecue but I quite happily had the leftovers for breakfast the next day. It would have been a perfect lunchbox salad as well, and quite a nutritious one too.
Roasted pumpkin, cous cous and lentil salad
Dukkah in this recipe can be substituted by Zaatar or any other fragrant and mild Middle Eastern spice mix, while quinoa could be used instead of cous cous.
For the salad:
- 300g Japanese pumpkin, peeled
- 2 tbsp peanut // or vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup cous cous
- 1/2 cup vegetable stock
- 1 (220g) can black lentils
- 3 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped finely
- 1 tablespoon dukkah
- 1/2 cup natural // or Greek yoghurt
- 10 mint leaves, shredded
Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan forced, 400C, gas mark 6).
To prepare the pumpkin: cut pumpkin into 1in chunks, drizzle with a little oil and place in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the cous cous.
To perapre the cous cous: place cous cous in a medium bowl, and add stock. Cover with cling film and set aside for 20 minutes of so. When ready, take the cling film off and fluff up the grains with a fork.
To make the salad: drain lentils. In a large bowl mix cous cous with dukkah, chopped coriander and lentils. Add pumpkin and fold gently to combine.
To make the minted yoghurt: mix together yoghurt and shredded mint leaves.
To serve: serve warm or cold with a side of a minted yoghurt sauce.