Warm moghrabieh salad with barbecued prawn brochettes and almond tarator


  • Serves 6 people

  • 165 gm (1 cup) moghrabieh (see note)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 36 medium green king prawns, peeled and cleaned, with tails intact
  • 1 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large lemon, grated rind and juice only
  • 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
  • 100 gm watercress or purslane, picked
  • 125 gm cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • To serve: lemon wedges, optional
  • Almond tarator
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • 80 gm (½ cup) blanched whole almonds, roasted
  • 35 gm (½ cup) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • ¾ cup olive oil
01   For almond tarator, place garlic on a work surface, sprinkle with sea salt and, using the back of a large knife, crush garlic until a smooth paste forms. Transfer garlic paste to the bowl of a food processor, add almonds and breadcrumbs and process until finely chopped, then add lemon juice and 2 tbsp water and process to combine well. With motor running, add olive oil in a thin steady stream until well combined and emulsified, then transfer to a bowl and, using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in 1/3 cup water or enough to form a smooth, thick sauce. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Makes 2 cups.
02   Cook moghrabieh in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20-25 minutes or until tender, drain, transfer to a bowl, stir in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sea salt, then set aside.
03   Meanwhile, place prawns, za’atar, lemon rind and 2 tbsp olive oil in a bowl, season to taste and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 10 minutes. Thread 3 prawns on each soaked skewer, then char-grill or barbecue over high heat, turning halfway, for 4-5 minutes or until just cooked through.
04   Remove top and bottom from lemon, then cut into 8 wedges and remove seeds and core from each wedge. Thinly slice each wedge crossways into thin slivers. Add lemon slivers, lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, watercress and tomatoes to drained warm moghrabieh, season to taste and toss gently to combine.
05   Divide warm moghrabieh salad among shallow bowls, top with 2 prawn skewers each, then serve, with lemon wedges to the side and tarator passed separately.

Note Moghrabieh, sometimes called pearl couscous because of its size, is a large couscous made from semolina and is available from Middle Eastern food stores and The Essential Ingredient in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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