Surrey Street Treats: aubergine and red pepper couscous

By - Tuesday 12th May, 2015

As spring turns to early summer, Jess Bashford offers a recipe for outdoor eating

Hopefully it’ll start to get warmer now that it’s May and spring is well underway. So I’ve come up with a recipe that’ll be nice to eat outside in the sun. It’s couscous that makes the most of Surrey Street’s aubergines and red pointed peppers.

You could serve it up in a big bowl at a barbecue, or whack it in a pot and take it along to a picnic. Or do what I do, and take it to work for lunch to eat in the park.


From the market: 3 aubergines, 4 pointed peppers (or 6 red peppers would work just as well).

From the kitchen: 2 garlic cloves, vegetable oil, sprinkle of oregano, 2 tsp paprika, 350ml boiling water, 250g couscous, 1 tsp tahini (if you have it), 1 tbsp parsley, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 lemon, salt and pepper.


1. Chop up your aubergines and peppers into even(ish) chunks and throw them in a baking tray with two peeled garlic cloves.

2. Pour a good glug of vegetable oil over the veg. Then add a sprinkle of oregano, salt, pepper and your paprika and make sure all the veg is coated. (I just use my hands to mix it up.)

3. Pop them in an oven at 200 degrees for around 25 minutes.

4. While your veg is cooking, you can sort out your couscous. Pour the boiling water over the couscous in a pan or a bowl and cover it up with a lid or cling film. Then leave it for around 4 minutes before you put it on a low heat to fluff up with a fork for a minute. (Just look at the instructions on the couscous you buy for the best way to cook it.)

5. Then I leave that to cool down a bit while I make a dressing. Take a bowl and add your tahini, parsley, olive oil, salt, pepper and the juice of a lemon. (Along with a bit of the grated rind.) Mix them up and pop them to one side.

6. When your veg is cooked (it should be soft), take it out the oven. Then you need to do a bit of hunting. Look through the veg to find the two garlic cloves you put in. Once you’ve found them, take them out, chop them up and add them to your dressing.

7. Now add your veg to the couscous (remembering to scrape all the oil from the tray in too) and stir through your dressing. All that’s left is to eat your springtime Surrey Street treat.

It should be enough for five decent-sized helpings. But if you want to make it a bit different you could crumble in some feta, throw in some black olives or serve it with some grilled meat.

Jess Bashford

Jess Bashford

Jess Bashford is a writer at a brand language consultancy and an English literature and creative writing graduate. She’s passionate about showing that Croydon is a great place to live and excited to delve into Croydon’s cultural side. She loves all things wordy and foody.

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