Couscous with Lemon & Mint

Couscous with Lemon & Mint

This works as either a cold salad or as a hot side dish (add some chickpeas either way, to make it a main-course in itself). It is both very easy to make, and very quick. As you can imagine, the lemon and mint flavours conjure the mediterranean climate, so let that be your guide for choosing something to serve with it - a nice Greek salad, perhaps, or some falafel patties, or perhaps a braised lamb shank or a merguez tagine. Its low effort requirement make it perfect for either summer nights when you don't feel much like cooking (or turning on the stove), or as a last-minute way to round out a bit of leftover stew that seemed smaller than you remembered when you pulled it out of the freezer.

I recommend using any bell pepper except green, here. The red, orange, and yellow peppers are much sweeter, and complement the flavours of the mint and lemon. The green bell pepper would impart a more bitter, vegetal flavour - not necessarily a disaster, of course, but less harmonious for the dish overall.

Couscous with Lemon & Mint

Ingredients

  • I recommend using any bell pepper except green, here. The red, orange, and yellow peppers are much sweeter, and complement the flavours of the mint and lemon. The green bell pepper would impart a more bitter, vegetal flavour - not necessarily a disaster, of course, but less harmonious for the dish overall.
  • 1 cup coarse dry couscous (not Israeli style)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (or other sweet pepper), finely diced
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced (white and green)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint chiffonade
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • You need to make this dish in a container with a tight fitting lid - you can either use a metal saucepan (heat the water, remove from heat, add the salt, sprinkle the couscous evenly over the surface, cover, wait), or a ceramic or tempered glass bowl with a lid (heat the water separately, pour into bowl, etc.) but if your lid is not tight-fitting, you may want to drape a heavy kitchen towel over the top. Make sure you allow room for the couscous to expand - allow at least four times as much room as couscous.
  • Whichever method you choose, prepare the couscous and let it stand, covered well, for about ten minutes, while you prepare your lemon, mint, green onion, and bell pepper.
Read the whole recipe on Always in the Kitchen