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Recipe: Gizzi’s Harissa Prawns with Cauliflower Couscous & Roasted Vegetables

Gizzi Erskine shares a recipe from her brand new book Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite.


Serves 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus marinating
Cooking time: 50 minutes

8–10 big fat raw king prawns, peeled, deveined and slit deeply down the backs with the tails left on
½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon harissa
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon

For the cauliflower couscous & roasted vegetables
1 small orange-fleshed pumpkin (such as Munchkin, Golden Nugget or onion squash), halved, deseeded and cut into 8 wedges with the skin on
1 courgette, halved and then cut into 6 pieces
1 red pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
250g cauliflower, trimmed and then cut into pieces
100ml fresh White Chicken Stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a small packet (about 30g) of coriander, roughly chopped
a small packet (about 30g) of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ small packet (about 15g) of mint, leaves picked and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mixed seeds, toasted
1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted sea salt flakes and freshly
ground black pepper

To serve
150g natural yogurt
1 tablespoon rose harissa

1. Place the prawns in a non-reactive bowl with the salt, oil, cumin, coriander, harissa and garlic. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for between 30–60 minutes while you get on with the rest of the recipe.

2. Heat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Place the pumpkin, courgette and whole red pepper in a roasting tray, rub with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and then season with tons of salt and pepper. (There’s no need to add any spice to the vegetables as the harissa in the marinade is genuinely sufficient when the whole dish is put together later on.)

3. Pop in the oven and roast for 45 minutes, turning the vegetables halfway through, until the vegetables are a little charred and cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Pop the red pepper in a plastic bag, seal the bag and leave to steam for 5 minutes. This will make the skin easier to peel away from the pepper’s flesh. When the 5 minutes are up, take the pepper out of the bag, pull out the stalk, cut the pepper in half and remove the seeds. Peel away the skin and then slice each half pepper into 4 pieces.

5. While the vegetables are roasting, make the cauliflower couscous. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and blitz it on the pulse setting until it resembles something the size of couscous. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan with a lid and then throw in the cauliflower. Cook over a high heat for 1 minute to sear the outside of the cauliflower, stirring continuously to keep it moving as you do not want it to colour. Pour over the stock, add some salt and then pop the lid on.

6. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and cook it down until the stock has reduced into the rice.

7. Transfer the cauliflower couscous to a serving dish. Whisk together the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of oil with some seasoning. Pour this dressing over the cauliflower. Add the herbs and mix well, then add the roasted vegetables, mixed seeds and pine nuts and give a really good mix. Leave to stand for 5 minutes and let the flavours homogenize while you make the yogurt sauce and cook the prawns.

8. To make the yogurt sauce, spoon the yogurt into a serving bowl, add the harissa and season. Swirl together and set aside.

9. Heat a frying pan until almost smoking. Lay the prawns on their sides around the pan and fry for 1 minute or until the cooked sides are a little charred. Flip the prawns over and cook for another minute or until the other sides are lightly charred and the prawns are pink. Give the prawns a good stir-fry around the pan, then add the lemon juice to the pan and stir the prawns quickly so they caramelize in the juice. Top the cauliflower couscous and roasted vegetables with the prawns, and serve with the yogurt sauce on the side.

See Gizzi at Cookbook Confidential on Saturday 5 September.