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Summoning summer: citrus couscous

September 11, 2009

couscous2One of the many salads we devoured last weekend on our tropical mini-break was a holiday favourite – we have eaten this on every summer camping or beachside weekend away for years and years, so whenever we eat this, it always feels like summer to me. It is spectacularly good with flaked smoked trout and a dollop of mayonnaise. I think the original recipe is from a Gourmet Traveller some years ago, but have no more specific source than that except my friend J, who first gave me the recipe.

The only other thing I know about this dish is that anyone who tastes it loves it, and it keeps happily for days and days as leftovers. So if you would like to summon up summer this weekend, go ahead and try it out. This quantity works well for six greedy grunters (us) or eight more sedate eaters.

Citrus couscous

  • 2 cups couscous
  • 2 cups orange juice (about eight oranges – best if freshly squeezed because you can use the pulp tooo)
  • 1 knob of butter
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 or 4 zucchini, sliced on the diagonal
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch shallots, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted (don’t blacken them too much like I did in this pictured one!)
  • 1 bunch mint, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, finely chopped
  • lemon juice to taste (about half a lemon’s worth is good)
  1. Bring orange juice to boil in a small saucepan with butter, salt & pepper. Turn off the heat and stir in couscous till well combined. Leave for at least half an hour.
  2. Lightly toast the pine nuts in a non-stick pan.
  3. Saute zucchini slices in olive oil until well browned and soft.
  4. In a large salad bowl combine all remaining ingredients, and season well. Add the cooled zucchini to the mix.
  5. Take the saucepan and gently comb and scrape the couscous until the grains separate – this takes a while and it’s important to be patient, otherwise you end up with big lumps. Empty the loose grains into the salad bowl as you go. Often the last thin layer has to be discarded.
  6. Stir other ingredients loosely through the couscous until well combined and check seasoning.



9 comments

  1. Wow, that looks like a winner.


  2. Tried this on wednesday, beautiful dish. Had some grilled chicken thighs marinated in orange zest, ginger, yoghurt, honey and garlic. Fantastic all round.


    • Oh, that sounds VERY good, beeso. Orange zest is the business, is it not?


      • Thought “i have eight orange skins here…. plus the guy who was round for dinner is a big eater, had to pad it out.”


        • Also made this last night – thanks for recipe, Charlotte – prompted by some blood oranges that failed to make their way into a fennel salad, and some tangellos that no one was eating. I used an extra half cup of juice so the grains weren’t too hard to separate. Had it with atlantic salmon and a green salad. Yum.


  3. I augmented my two oranges with chicken stock and a mandarin and it was so divine. Lots of zest too. Mixed it with a stack of roasted vegies- garlic, beetroot, zucchini etc. Will become a staple in the gully house.


  4. […] Citrus couscous salad […]


  5. […] of you who’ve enjoyed the citrus couscous recipe I posted a while ago might be keen to try a new salad that I am totally loving at the […]


  6. […] salad or citrus couscous (make a huge batch – both of these keep […]



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