Fable Couscous by Heston Blumenthal

This delicious warm salad of giant pearl couscous, Fable, and vegetables will send you on a sensory journey to Morocco

26 Oct, 2021 | Recipes | 0 comments

Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus 48 hours for pickled lemons and marinated courgettes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 6 people
A perfect introduction to the seductive wonders of North African cuisine – gently spicy, fragrant, aromatic, citrussy, fresh and flavourful, with plenty of texture.


Pickled lemons:

  • 50g white caster sugar
  • 100g white wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon (preferably Amalfi)

Marinated courgette/zucchini:

  • 500g courgettes/zucchinis, diced very small
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 100g olive oil

Romesco sauce:

  • 100g whole almonds, peeled
  • 70g char-grilled peppers, diced approx. 1cm
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 100g tomato puree
  • 25g sherry vinegar
  • 10g smoked paprika
  • 5g cayenne pepper
  • 250g olive oil

Red onions:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges


  • 15g salt
  • 500g giant (pearl) couscous


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g Fable
  • 300g vegetable stock

Ras el Hanout Vinaigrette:

  • 100g olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Ras el Hanout
  • 40g sherry vinegar
  • 10g Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Generous pinch ground ginger

To complete salad for 6:

  • 500g reserved cooked Couscous
  • Reserved Romesco sauce
  • Reserved Fable
  • Reserved Marinated courgettes/zucchinis
  • Reserved Roasted red onion wedges
  • Reserved pickled lemon, finely chopped
  • 100g char-grilled peppers, diced
  • Reserved Ras el Hanout vinaigrette
  • To taste, lemon juice
  • Generous handful Coriander leaves
  • 100g pomegranate seeds
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves


  1. Start with the pickled lemon since this will take the longest. Place the sugar, white wine vinegar and 150g water into a pan. Bring to a simmer, whisking until the sugar dissolves.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. In the meantime, slice the lemon very thinly and discard any pips. Place the cooled pickling liquid into a small bowl, jar or Ziplock bag and add the sliced lemon. Cover (or seal) and leave to pickle for 48 hours in the fridge.

  2. To marinate the courgettes/zucchinis, place them into a bowl or Ziplock bag. Smash the garlic cloves with the back of a knife and add to the courgettes/zucchinis.  Add the olive oil and cover (or seal), leaving the mixture to marinate for at least 12 hours in the fridge before using. Before using, pick out and discard the garlic.
  3. For the Romesco sauce, preheat the oven to 180°C. Spread the almonds out on a tray and roast in the oven for 7 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Place the almonds, char-grilled peppers, garlic, tomato puree, vinegar, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper into a blender. Blitz well, then gradually add the olive oil, blending well to combine. Set aside.

  4. To roast the red onion wedges, heat a little oil in a large pan and fry the onions until caramelised. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside. 
  5. For the couscous, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the couscous according to the packet instructions. Cover and set aside.
  6. To prepare the Fable, heat the olive oil in pan and add the Fable, lightly frying over moderate heat until slightly coloured. Add the vegetables stock and cook until there is no more moisture in the pan.

  7. For the vinaigrette, heat only two teaspoons of the olive oil in a small pan over moderately low heat and add the Ras el Hanout. Cook gently for 3- 4 minutes before removing the pan from the heat. Stir in the remaining olive oil and set aside to cool completely. In the meantime, whisk in the vinegar, mustard, and spices together in a bowl. Once the flavoured oil has cooled, slowly drizzle it into the bowl, mixing well to combine.

  8. To complete the salad, combine all the ingredients (apart from the vinaigrette, lemon juice, pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs) in a large pan to gently heat the elements through.

  9. To serve, drizzle over the vinaigrette and adjust the seasoning with lemon juice. Finely chop the coriander and stir through the mixture before scattering over the pomegranate seeds and mint leaves.


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