Roasted veg on spicy couscous with pickled lemons

Roasted veg on spicy couscous with pickled lemons

Recipe by Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Photo by Rachel Zammit Cutajar

As featured on the October issue of Foodist

Roasted veg on spicy couscous with pickled lemons


  • 1 aubergine, cut into large cubes
  • 2 marrows, cut into large cubes
  • 2 onions, cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g couscous
  • 2 tbsp black olives
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Handful fresh dill
  • 2 spring onions
  • Lemon pickles

Couscous dressing

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (add more if you like it hot, less if you want it mild)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (kunserva)
  • 1 cup olive oil


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. 
  2. Make the chermoula dressing by toasting the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and caraway seeds in a pan, without oil, until fragrant – approx. 2 mins. Be careful not to let them burn as they will become bitter.
  3. Place the seeds in a pestle and mortar and crush them to release flavour.
  4. Add to a mixing bowl and add the paprika, cinnamon, chilli flakes, salt and pepper and mix well.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together. If the paste is too dry add a little more olive oil. 
  6. Place the aubergine, marrows onion and whole garlic cloves in a large roasting tin, trying to get the vegetables as close to a single layer as possible.
  7. Sprinkle the minced garlic on top.
  8. Add the coriander and cumin seeds and chilli flakes, if using, and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add a good lug of olive oil and mix with your hands, making sure all the vegetables are covered in oil and seasoning.
  10. Roast for approx. 1 hour until the veg is tender and a little charred at the edges.
  11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.
  12. Place the couscous in a bowl and cover with boiling water and little bit of salt until completely covered and the water comes up about an inch above the couscous. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 5 mins.
  13. Fluff with a fork and add approx. 6 tablespoons of the dressing into the couscous and mix well.
  14. Place the couscous on plates and add the roasted vegetables on the top.
  15. Add the spring onion and herbs and top with pickled lemons. 
  16. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

The road to homemade pickled lemons starts here.

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