Ottolenghi's Couscous, cherry tomato and herb salad


This salad is perfect as an accompaniment to any grilled meat vegetables. The taste is fresh from the herbs and hearty from the couscous and almonds. The ras el hanout gives a wonderful flavour and I would recommend not to skip it if you can find it.  

Couscous, cherry tomato and herb salad

Recipe from Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi


250g couscous
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ras el hanout
salt and black pepper
400ml boiling water
300g cherry tomatoes
2 onions, sliced paper-thin
30g golden raisins
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
50g roasted and salted almonds, roughly chopped
handful cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
handful mint leaves, roughly torn
1 lemon: finely zested and then juiced


  1. Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of oil, sprinkle with 1 tsp of ras el hanout, ¾ tsp of salt, and plenty of pepper, then pour in the boiling water. Stir, cover the bowl tightly with foil and set aside for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, fluff the couscous with a fork, and set aside to cool.
  2. Put 1 tbsp of oil into a large frying pan and place over high heat. Once hot, add the tomatoes and fry for 3–4 minutes, stirring a few times, until they start to brown and split open. Remove from the pan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and set aside with any juices.
  3. Wipe the pan clean, then add the remaining 3 tbsp of oil and return to medium-high heat. Add the onions, the remaining 1 tsp of ras el hanout, and ⅛ tsp salt and fry for 10–12 minutes, stirring, until dark golden brown and soft. Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins, and set aside to cool.
  4. Once the couscous has cooled slightly, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the onion and raisin mix and stir. Add the cumin, almonds, cilantro, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, ¼ tsp salt,
and a generous grind of pepper and mix gently.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter, top with the tomatoes, and serve.