I love cheese. We're talking about real love here people. Once in college, my friend and I stayed up for hours talking about cheese...and only cheese. (Okay, I admit some alcohol was involved). Just when I thought cheese couldn't get any better, I experienced grilled halloumi. Do you know the crispy cheese parts of grilled cheese? Imagine that but chunks of those golden bites. HEAVEN! Naturally, I had to incorporate halloumi into today's meal so here is a couscous bowl with halloumi and poached egg finished with pesto. All wonderful ingredients combined to make one spectacular bowl.
Couscous Bowl with Halloumi and Poached Egg
- 2 tablespoons oil divided
- 1 cup cous cous uncooked
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable stock
- 8 ounces halloumi sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 leek sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup peas
- ½ cup pesto plus extra for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon herbs de provence
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- juice of ½ lemon
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- salt and pepper
- 4 eggs poached
- ¼ cup toasted almonds
- fresh basil for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepot over medium-high heat. Add couscous and toast until lightly golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes or until all of the liquid is evaporated. Turn off flames and let couscous sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid and fluff with a fork.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add sliced halloumi and sear on both sides until browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add sliced leeks and saute until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, peas, cooked couscous, pesto, herbs de provence, red chili flakes, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove couscous from heat and assemble onto plates. Top with halloumi and poached egg and drizzle extra pesto on top. Garnish with toasted almonds and fresh basil. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This couscous bowl with halloumi and poached egg is one of those meals that is easy to put together with wonderful results.
First, cook the couscous. Couscous is a type of pasta made from semolina and oil or water. There are three different types: Moroccan, Israeli, and Lebanese. Moroccan couscous is the smallest grain and the quickest to prepare. I personally prefer Israeli couscous or pearl couscous because it gives more of a bite to this dish. You will need 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth for every 1 cup of couscous. Toast the couscous first then add the water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, sear the halloumi until golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, melt the butter and saute the leeks until caramelized. Add the garlic, peas, cooked couscous, pesto, and herbs de Provence seasoning blend. If you can't find herbs de Provence, you can make your own version but it does require a number of herbs including rosemary, tarragon, basil, fennel, and even lavender.
Top the couscous with a poached egg, drizzle pesto on top and get ready to dig in! If you're looking for that perfect pesto recipe, look no further! This walnut almond pesto is the perfect contender for this meal.
Using ingredients such as leeks, peas, and pesto, this couscous bowl is the perfect springtime meal. The perfect vegetarian dish that doesn't feel vegetarian!
For more vegetarian inspiration check out these chickpea fritters with salsa verde!