Couscous and salad one of those pairings for the ages. Couscous is such a wonderful carbohydrate to add to a simple salad. It’s smooth enough not to be overpowering, yet gives enough bite to add some dimension to the lettuce.
I’ve been inspired by middle-eastern flavours and spices with this salad. The dressing is a zingy acidic bomb of flavour. The blend of zatar, sumac and allspice make it taste other worldly. Zatar is my new favourite spice, or rather spice blend. It’s a lovely earthy and salty mixture that almost always improves a dish.
The secret trick to this salad, however, is the topping of crispy fried spring onions. Finely slicing the onions and cooking them in the hot oil gives them an crunchy texture that’s much needed in such a smooth salad. The trick is to salt them as soon as they come out of the oil. This allows the salt to stick to the onion much more effectively.
I’ve become so addicted to fried spring onion topping that I now just make batches of fried spring onions at a time and store them for use later. They keep great in small mason jars or tupperware.
When to eat
Tomato season in the uk is a fickle thing. You’ll get the best cherry tomatoes from mid June to September. If you’re eating this dish outside of that season try switching out the cherry tomatoes for some canned plumb tomatoes and adding a few teaspoons of sugar.
This meal is around 89% less polluting than the average UK meal.
- Eating this recipe will save around 2.6 KG CO2e per person.
- That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 21.49 KM in a modern car.
- 150 g Couscous
- 1 Large Cucumber
- 300 g Cherry Tomatoes
- 20 g Mint
- 2 Medium Heads Leaf Lettuce
- 4 Spring Onions
- 6 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Zatar
- 2 Teaspoons Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Allspice
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Sumac
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar
- Place the couscous in a saucepan and pour over 250 ml of boiling water. Cover and leave for 5 minutes after which it should be soft and fluffy. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
- Grate the cucumber into a small mixing bowl. Mix in 1 tsp of table salt. Let the cucumber stand for 5 minutes, then squeeze the excess water out of the cucumber. Placing back into the mixing bowl.
- Shred the lettuce into thumb sized pieces, wash and place into a large mixing bowl. Chop and quarter the cherry tomatoes and add to the lettuce bowl. Roughly chop the mint and toss into the bowl along with the cooked couscous. Combine the salad well with your hands.
- Chop you spring onions into thin slices then heat the sunflower oil in a deep pan over a medium high heat. Toss in the spring onions and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Remove the spring onions and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Next make your dressing. Mash together the garlic clove into a paste. Then mix, along with the rest of the dressing ingredients in a small jug. Pour over the mixed salad and toss again with your hands until well combined.
- Serve the salad with the crispy spring onions sprinkled over the top along with any extra mint leaves.