For the couscous:

one 10- ounce box couscous (1-1/2 cups)

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup water

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the salad:

¼ cup lemon juice

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)

1 large, seedless cucumber, peeled and diced, plus slices for garnish

8 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into ¼ inch dice, plus tomato slices for garnish

10 scallions, sliced thin

1 large bunch parsley, chopped

1 large bunch cilantro, chopped

1 small bunch mint, chopped, plus mint sprigs for garnish

16 black or green olives, chopped (optional)

  1. In a saucepan combine the broth, the water, ¼ cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil, bring the mixture to a boil and stir in the couscous.  Cover the pan, remove from the heat and let the couscous stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff couscous with a fork and let it cool in the pan.
  1. Make a dressing of lemon juice and zest, oil, salt and pepper, adding more lemon juice if you like. In a large bowl stir together the cucumber, tomatoes, scallion and the dressing and let the mixture stand for 15 minutes. Stir in the couscous, parsley, cilantro, mint and olives if you are using them.  Toss thoroughly and leave for 30 minutes, until the grain has absorbed the dressing.  (Can be made 2 days ahead and kept covered and chilled).  Serve garnished with mint sprigs, cucumber and tomato slices.


adapted from Claudia Roden, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food

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