Lemon Couscous Salad

It's barbecue season and it's customary in these parts if you are invited to one, to take along a bottle and a food contribution. Maybe meat, maybe a desert or maybe something to accompany the grilled food.

I'm not a fan of traditional green salads and I hate tomatoes so with a degree of self interest I almost always take along some version of a potato salad and/or my favourite couscous dish.

Couscous is not a grain - its actually tiny beads of semolina. It's very simple to prepare and is so versatile. You can buy it ready flavoured or plain which will take on the flavour of anything you add to it. You can buy instant couscous which you just "cook" by pouring boiling water on, or traditional couscous which needs to be soaked and steamed.

I love it prepared simply with a knob of butter or a drizzle of olive oil, or soaked with lemon juice. To make it extra special I prepare it with slightly more effort which makes it look more impressive when I take it to someone's house.

I say it takes more effort - it's still very simple and in fact this weekend I asked two of my children aged 10 and 11 to make it for me. All I did was pour the boiling water onto the couscous for them!

Here's how to make lemon couscous salad.


100g instant coucous (lemon flavoured or plain)
160ml boiling water
4-5 s

pring onions
2tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
handful rocket or spinach leaves roughly torn.


Tip dry couscous into a bowl and prepare as per packet instructions or add 160ml boiling water to 100g couscous. Stir then leave to stand for five minutes.

Meanwhile trim and thinly slice spring onions and tear salad leaves.

By this time the couscous should have absorbed all of the water. Run a fork through the grains breaking up any clumps then add lemon juice and stir again.

Leave to cool for at least another five minutes then add spring onion slices and salad leaves and mix thoroughly. Turn into a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil.