Herbed lentil and beetroot ‘couscous’ with halloumi and spiced seeds recipe

By Maria Elia

  1. Serves 4
  2. Takes 1 hour to make, 40 minutes to cook
  3. Rating

This colourful and herby vegetarian dish is healthy, filling and tastes great too

tried and tested
Herbed lentil and beetroot ‘couscous’ with halloumi and spiced seeds


  1. for the lentil and beetroot ‘couscous’

  2. 150g raw beetroot, peeled
  3. 100g cooked puy lentils
  4. 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
  5. 10g finely grated fresh ginger
  6. 100g pickled dill cucumbers or gherkins, finely diced
  7. 20g each roughly chopped fresh dill, flatleaf parsley and mint
  8. 1½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  9. 2 tbsp olive oil
  10. Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
  11. Cumin-seed flatbreads to serve (see deliciousmagazine.co.uk/cumin-flatbread for a recipe)

  12. for the roast beetroot

  13. 400g evenly sized beetroots
  14. Olive oil for drizzling

  15. for the spiced seeds

  16. 30g each sunflower and pumpkin seeds
  17. 1 tbsp olive oil
  18. 1 tsp ground cumin
  19. Pinch of cayenne pepper

  20. for the halloumi

  21. 300g halloumi, cut into slices
  22. 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. 1. For the lentil and beetroot ‘couscous’, trim the beetroot, then chop into small pieces. Pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Put in a bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients except for the lemon juice and flatbreads. Taste and season, adding lemon juice if required, then chill until needed.
  2. 2. For the roast beetroot, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Wrap each beetroot in foil and roast for 30-40 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and foil, leave until cool enough to handle, then slip off the skins (you may want to wear gloves) and cut into bite-size pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, season and set aside.
  3. 3. For the spiced seeds, toss the ingredients together with a large pinch of salt, spread on a baking tray and cook for around 5-10 minutes until golden. Set aside.
  4. 4. For the halloumi, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add half the cheese slices, then fry for 2-3 minutes until golden, turning once. Repeat with the remaining slices, then serve immediately with the roasted beetroot, beetroot ‘couscous’ and flatbreads on the side.

Nutritional info

PER SERVING 560kcals, 43.1g fat (16g saturated), 24.3g protein, 27.1g carbs (10.8g sugars), 2.1g salt, 7g fibre

Chef's tip

Make the lentil and beetroot ‘couscous’ the day before, then add the herbs and shallots at the last minute. You could cook the roast beetroot the day before, then chill overnight. Remove from the fridge 1 hour before serving to come up to room temperature. It’s important to have everything ready to serve before you start to cook the halloumi as the cheese tastes much better when it’s just come out of the pan.


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