This simple but tasty salad has become a regular weeknight dinner option in my house. It uses two ingredients that are a little unusual – merguez sausages and moghrabieh. Merguez is a heavily spiced mutton- or beef-based fresh sausage in North African cuisine. It is also popular in the Middle East, and Europe. Its flavor and colour come from chilli pepper, harissa, sumac, fennel and garlic. Moghrabieh is a giant couscous originating from Lebanon. They are cooked and used in a similar way to pasta, maintain a chewy consistency and absorb a lot of flavour from the ingredients they are cooked with. With a little bit of hunting, both of these ingredients are available in Melbourne.
Here’s what you need:
4 merguez sausages, removed from casing and broken into small pieces
½ small head caulifliower cut into even small florets
1 cup moghrabieh
½ cup chopped mint
1 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp hot paprika
1 long red chilli de-seeded and julienned
Cook the moghrabieh in boiling water for about 25 minutes. You want them soft but not mushy. Once you have them underway you can move onto the rest of the salad.
Over a medium heat in a large, deep frying pan saute the cauliflower in a little olive oil for about 5-7 minutes. I go very easy on the oil so that the florets get a little bit of charring. To the pan, add the dry spices and stir through. Once thoroughly combined, add the merguez sausage meat and the chilli. Continue to stir the mixture occasionally until the sausage is cooked through and the cauliflower is tender.
Add the moghrabieh and turn up the heat for about a minute while you mix it through. Turn off the heat and toss through the chopped herbs.
Place mixture on individual plates or a large flat platter and drizzle with a little olive oil. On this occasion, I dressed some rocket with olive oil and put it under the salad as I was in the mood for some extra greens.