Friday, March 21, 2014

{FoodFriday} Couscous Summer Salad

Mmm couscous, I love it! Now that temperatures are rising, my body starts craving lighter foods and especially during the summer, but also in spring and early autumn, I eat a lot of salad. Couscous salads are perfect for that time of the year because they're light but fulfilling, so they make for a complete meal. This is a gorgeous recipe which screams 'Welcome spring, hello summer!', something very appropriate to say on the first day of spring, plus it is really easy to make. It won't have you longer than 15 minutes in the kitchen, which is great when days get longer and warmer and you rather being outside than inside. It is one of my go-to recipes for summer and I usually eat this once a week. Actually twice, as I usually make a big bowl and have leftovers for the next day or two.

In case you don't know, couscous is a North African cereal staple - wheat semolina - which is cooked by steaming (thanks Wikipedia for helping me with this). Couscous is traditionally prepared with the boiling stock of a rich meat or vegetable stew and then served with the cooked meat and vegetables. Or sometimes with fish instead of meat. Traditions aside, couscous has become increasingly popular in Europe and now it is also a staple food in many kitchens. As far as creative cuisine goes, couscous offers endless possibilities and I've seen recipes for couscous breakfast with red berries or couscous salad with strawberries and goat cheese. This recipe is a lot more simple and conventional, but trust me, not dull at all.

Just a couple of cooking notes before we begin. I use the juice of one lemon but this can be too much if you're not used to have your salads soaking in lemon juice. You can add only the juice of half a lemon if you're not so keen on the lemon flavour - you can cut it off completely but I personally think it is the lemon juice what brings this salad to live. Next, the herbes de Provence. They are probably my favourite seasoning and a spice jar containing herbes de Provence will not last longer than two months in my pantry, as I use them on pretty much everything. The herbes de Provence mix usually varies from brand to brand but they normally contain rosemary, thyme and oregano and sometimes more exotic herbs as lavender. Anyway, feel free to experiment with whatever herbs you have at home and like. Oh, and one last thing, this a salad so you might notice that ingredients quantites are pretty much random. You can modify them as you like to have a bigger or smaller salad (maybe you like more vegetables and less couscous or maybe the other way round, just make sure you add enough water for the couscous to cook).

(serves 4, depending on how much those four people eat, you know)

150 g couscous
boiling water
3 tomatoes
1 cucumber
olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
herbes de Provence


Put the dried couscous in a bowl and add boiling water just enough to cover the couscous. Cover with a tea towel and leave it to swell for 5-10 minutes.

Dice the tomatoes and cucumber and add to the couscous together with some olive oil and stir gently.

Sprinkle some herbes de Provence, add the lemon juice and stir again to mix all the flavours.

Now you can gladly sit in the sunshine and enjoy!
Happy spring!


  1. Hola Irene! qué buena pinta tiene esta ensalada de cus-cús. Yo soy fan total de las ensaladas a partir de ya mismo y varío un montón. Me apunto esta tuya( espero encontrar cus-cús en algún supermercado) para hacérmela. Ya te contaré cómo me salió y si me gustó. Bss:)

    1. Uff, la verdad que hace ya un tiempo que no voy a alsupermercado en España, pero no creo que sea muy difícil de encontrar - quizás hasta hay ya de marca Hacendado jejeje. Yo lo he encontrado en Holanda y en Suiza sin problemas, así que me imagino que en España será similar :)

  2. I love anything with couscous..salad or with tagine. Would love to try this. Looks healthy.

    1. I think that leaving aside the fact that couscous is grain and some diet trends currently demonize grains, this is really healthy :)

  3. Do you know I've never had couscous anything! LOL I've heard of it, but never ate it. It looks great Irene!

    1. I actually wondered whether couscous was popular in the US while writing this post. In Europe it has become a normal staple food during the last decade and I really like it!
      Hope you try it soon :)

  4. That sounds yummy! Thanks so much for sharing! I love couscous and I will definitely give this a try since I never had couscous salad. When I was a kid my family and I always went to a Moroccan restaurant and I was always so excited to get lots of couscous and chick peas. :)

  5. I love cous cous, but my husband doesn't, so I have not had it in a while. I am going to see if there is a recipe using it that he might actually like, or just forget him and eat it for myself! :-D

    Lovely recipe!


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