Growing up in Brussels, I would regularly eat in my Godmother’s kitchen and it was her casual and tasty food which has most inspired my own cooking. I have also learned from her to always keep a glass of water with a mix of fresh herbs in the door of the fridge. Parsley, coriander or basil will keep fresh in this way for up to a week. My kitchen is always well stocked with herbs, they are a vital ingredient in my cooking, bringing both flavour and rich colour to the dishes.

Serves 6

For the meatballs:
800g minced chicken
2 courgettes, coarsely grated (about 300g)
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 egg
2 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
About 100ml sunflower oil for frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the herb couscous:
300g wholemeal couscous
Boiling water, to cover the couscous
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground cumin
90g unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
5 spring onions, finely sliced
1 handful rocket salad
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Herb paste: 1 small bunch parsley, 1 small bunch, fresh coriander, 1 small bunch tarragon, 1 small bunch dill, 1 small bunch mint, all roughly chopped.
100ml extra virgin olive oil

For the yoghurt cream sauce:
100g soured cream
150g Greek yoghourt.
1 tsp grated lemon zest
Juice of ½ lemon
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Start by making the yoghurt cream sauce. Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

In a large bowl mix together all of the meatballs ingredients (excluding the oil), then using your hands, form the mix into approximately 18 meatballs weighing about 45g each. Heat up a good layer of sunflower oil in a heavy base pan and fry the meatballs on all sides over medium heat, until golden brown, adding oil as needed. Transfer the meatballs onto an oven tray lined with baking paper and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare the herb couscous. Place the couscous in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the onion in the olive oil until soft and slightly brown, add the cumin and salt and mix well together.

To make the herb paste combine all the herbs and oil together in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add this paste to the couscous and mix well together using a fork to separate the grains. Finally add the cooked onions, pistachios, spring onions and rocket and mix gently through the couscous.

Bake the meatballs in the oven for 10 minutes. Serve in a bowl, the couscous first, then place the meatballs and some yoghurt sauce over it.


This recipe is from Marina Bautier's cookbook Vendredi.