I must admit, in all the quinoa excitement of late, I kind of forgot about couscous. It was a staple of my childhood and would often feature in the family dinners, plated up with a big heap of roasted veggies and salmon, or combined with chickpeas and chopped apricots as a side to a BBQ or ‘pick and mix’ lunch.
But more recently, its fancy and seemingly difficult-to-pronounce counterpart has rather taken the foodie world by storm, and where there once was couscous, there’s now quinoa.
I get it. Quinoa’s a complete protein and naturally wheat-free, so it’s no surprise people have jumped ship. But it’s also expensive and not as convenient and when it comes to lunchbox cooking, most of the time I just want cheap and cheerful.
So I’m bringing it back, this time prepped in one pan alongside some greens (classic) and finished with some ground coriander and a super simple lemon dressing.
Everyone cool with that? Okay great.
To the recipe!
To make the salad
- 100g broccoli (about 4 or 5 florets) chopped into small pieces
- ½ courgette, grated
- 70g cous cous
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp dried parsley, or other green herb
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 100ml boiling water
- Pinch of salt
- Optional: handful of pumpkin seeds
To make the dressing
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard (if you have it)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
Not enough for you hungry humans? See below for some optional add-ons:
Lemony kale pesto | Creamy pesto sauce | French style dressing
Avocado | Roasted chickpeas | Feta, halloumi or mozzarella
Meat and fish options
Pan-fried cod | Grilled chicken breast | Leftover Sunday roast
- Pop the couscous in a saucepan or glass bowl and add the coriander, parsley and salt. Stir to combine.
- Pop the broccoli on top of the couscous, followed by the courgette, then add the boiling water and lemon juice (no need to stir). Cover with the lid of the saucepan (or some cling film) and leave for 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the veg isn’t covered by the water – it’ll gently steam in the residual heat.
- Meanwhile, pop all the dressing ingredients in a jar, secure with the lid and shake until combined.
- Once the couscous is cooked and fluffy, remove the lid and stir everything together. Add the pumpkin seeds, if using, and pour over the dressing. Job done.