AUTUMN brings some wonderful colours to the dinner table as well as the world outside. The earthy colours and flavours help to create some wonderful dishes – think wild mushrooms, fragrant squash, sweet parsnips, roasted chestnuts and juicy oranges.

Pomegranate is another seasonal favourite of mine and a great way to bring an extra pop of sweetness and colour to a dish.

Pomegranates have always been highly prized for their flavour and have been popular in the Middle East, northern India and some Mediterranean countries for centuries. However, their recent classification as a ‘superfood’ has seen their demand soar, especially in the UK and Europe.

Not only do they look very pretty with their red jewel-like seeds, they’re also packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and iron as well as being a good source of fibre.

Pomegranates have long featured in traditional Middle Eastern recipes but their culinary opportunities shouldn’t be limited to this.

Toss them into salads, add them to fruity desserts like Eton Mess and Pavlova, sprinkle them on yoghurt, cheese, soups, stews or shake them into your cocktail.

You can also cook them with red meat, chicken or fish to add a little colour and flavour to sauces.

When selecting a pomegranate choose a bright red, firm fruit and avoid any that are discoloured or have cracks or bruises on the skin.

The skin and the pith are inedible and very bitter but the ruby red seeds encased inside are incredibly sweet and juicy.

The most popular method of removing the seeds is to cut the pomegranate in half, hold it over a bowl, and bash the skin with a rolling pin to release the seeds.

Today’s recipe makes the most of several seasonal ingredients and is wonderfully light yet flavoursome dish that is great for a party too.


(serves 6)

250g giant couscous

200g feta cheese

3 fresh figs

100g walnuts

Half a lemon, juice and zest

Small handful of fresh mint leaves

Small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt & pepper

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Cook the giant couscous in a pan of salted, boiling water for 6-8 minutes or until it’s tender and much of the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, chop two of the figs into bite-sized pieces and cut the third fig into quarters. Finely chop the herbs.

Drain the couscous and add to a large bowl with chopped figs, herbs and walnuts. Add the lemon juice, zest and the olive oil the stir everything with a fork to combine.

Season with a little black pepper then crumble in the feta cheese to add to the flavour.

To serve, place the couscous salad on a large serving platter and top with the quartered fig. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and drizzle with a little more olive oil as desired.

This can be eaten immediately while the couscous is still slightly warm or refrigerated and served cold.