165 gm (1 cup) moghrabieh (see note)½ cup extra-virgin olive oil36medium green king prawns, peeled and cleaned, with tails intact1 tbspza’atar1lemon1large lemon, grated rind and juice only12bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes100 gmwatercress or purslane, picked125 gmcherry or grape tomatoes, halved To serve:lemon wedges, optionalAlmond tarator 1large clove of garlic, finely chopped½ tsp sea salt flakes80 gm (½ cup) blanched whole almonds, roasted35 gm (½ cup) fresh white breadcrumbs1lemon, juice only¾ cup olive oil
For almond tarator, place garlic on a work surface, sprinkle with sea salt and, using the back of a large knife, crush garlic until a smooth paste forms. Transfer garlic paste to the bowl of a food processor, add almonds and breadcrumbs and process until finely chopped, then add lemon juice and 2 tbsp water and process to combine well. With motor running, add olive oil in a thin steady stream until well combined and emulsified, then transfer to a bowl and, using a wooden spoon, slowly stir in 1/3 cup water or enough to form a smooth, thick sauce. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover closely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Makes 2 cups.
Cook moghrabieh in a large saucepan of boiling water for 20-25 minutes or until tender, drain, transfer to a bowl, stir in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sea salt, then set aside.
Meanwhile, place prawns, za’atar, lemon rind and 2 tbsp olive oil in a bowl, season to taste and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 10 minutes. Thread 3 prawns on each soaked skewer, then char-grill or barbecue over high heat, turning halfway, for 4-5 minutes or until just cooked through.
Remove top and bottom from lemon, then cut into 8 wedges and remove seeds and core from each wedge. Thinly slice each wedge crossways into thin slivers. Add lemon slivers, lemon juice, ¼ cup olive oil, watercress and tomatoes to drained warm moghrabieh, season to taste and toss gently to combine.
Divide warm moghrabieh salad among shallow bowls, top with 2 prawn skewers each, then serve, with lemon wedges to the side and tarator passed separately.
Note Moghrabieh, sometimes called pearl
couscous because of its size, is a large couscous made from
semolina and is available from Middle Eastern food stores and The
Essential Ingredient in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.