This couscous salad is perfect for hot summer days: the freshness of the mint, the slight bite of the green onions, the zesty tang of the dressing and the sweetness of the raisins all make this a delicious and light accompaniement to any BBQ or grilled meat.
This salad is of course based on the traditional North African taboulé, normally made with couscous (wheat granules) or bulgur, not to confuse with the Lebanese taboulé which usually contains very little bulgur and mainly parsley and mint leaves. I love the Lebanese version but my kids find it too “leafy”. This version has everything and they’ll gladly have it with roast chicken in their lunchbox or with barbecued lamb ribs in summer. In this version because I wanted a touch of sweetness, I added raisins but cranberries could work perfectly well too. If you are sweet enough, just keep it simple.
Note: To give extra flavour to the couscous which can be bland, I cook it with stock rather than water. In doing so, you’ve got to be careful when seasoning, so as not to add too much salt. I usually eye-ball the quantities. The liquid should just about cover the couscous. If, after 5 minutes, the couscous is too dry, add a bit of liquid. If, on the other hand, it’s a bit too wet, pop it in the microwave for 1 minute, it usually helps “dehydrate” it.
- 1 cup of couscous
- 1 cup of hot vegetable stock or water
- 2 tomatoes, finely diced
- 1 cup diced, de-seeded cucumber
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup raisins
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (1 1/2 Tbsp)
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- In a bowl, put couscous and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour hot stock or water over the couscous and coat well. Cover the bowl and let it stand 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, chop and dice the vegetables.
- Add the vegetables, raisins and herbs to the cooked couscous and mix well. Add lemon juice and olive oil. Taste before adding salt.