Olive & Fruity Couscous Meze

Another delicious recipe idea from our friend, James Strawbridge.

The bittersweet Nocellara del Belice olives are the star of the show in this sharing meze bowl. The combination of fruity cous cous, herby tabbouleh and spiced halloumi all work together around the plump salty olives. Perfect for a long weekend lunch or to take to work for a mid-week treat.

For me this dish is inspired by the taste of Crete where I remember spending holidays and falling in love with salty olives, tangy yogurt and fried halloumi cheese.


1 pot of Nocellara Del Belice Olives
6 falafel
2 tbsp mint, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp natural yogurt
1 tsp Zhoug or wild garlic pesto
1 block of halloumi, sliced
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
1 tsp harissa
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

For the fruity cous cous:
75g giant cous cos
250ml vegetable stock
Pinch of saffron
4 Nocellara Del Belice Olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 preserved lemon, roughly chopped
1 tsp capers
1 tbsp cucumber, finely diced
4-6 dried apricots, diced
1 tbsp olive oil


Cook the couscous in vegetable stock with a pinch of saffron for 8-10 mins.

Once the water has mostly been absorbed and the couscous is soft, then strain and mix in oil, chopped olives, preserved lemon, caper, apricot and cucumber.

Fry your halloumi with harissa and oil and after 3-4 mins, when the cheese is golden, deglaze the pan with lemon juice. Toss with pomegranate seeds and lemon zest.

Stir your yogurt with zhoug or wild garlic pesto and then place your falafel on top of your chopped herbs.

Build your meze bowl with a garnish of edible flowers and a generous handful of olives at the heart of the plate.