With seasonal carrots and mint, meaty halloumi cheese, and nutty whole wheat couscous, this pilaf is a fresh alternative to heavier brunch buffet sides.
Make this recipe gluten free by replacing cooked couscous with cooked millet.
4 medium carrots or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup (250 mL) whole wheat couscous
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) boiling water
2 Tbsp (30 mL) orange juice
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
8 oz (225 g) package halloumi, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) slabs
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
On large baking sheet, toss carrots or sweet potatoes with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil. Roast until tender and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set aside.
In large bowl, mix to combine couscous, cumin, cinnamon, and salt. Pour boiled water overtop, followed by orange juice, lemon juice, and remaining 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Cover with large plate or baking sheet to steam for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork, then fold in carrots.
In large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, sear halloumi slabs until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and chop into cubes. Add halloumi cubes to couscous and carrot mixture, followed by mint, and mix to combine. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.