We’re always on the hunt for new tips and tricks to shortcut the cooking process. Peeling ginger with a spoon and grating garlic instead of chopping are up there amongst the most popular. But couscous is another. If you want to whip up dinner in no time at all then it’s one of the easiest accompaniments out there.
Jason Ingram1 tbsp ras-el-hanout spice
2 salmon fillets, about 150g each
½ red onion, ½cm dice
2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
2 vine tomatoes, ½cm dice
½ lemon, zest and juice
½ vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp butter
salt and black pepper
1. Mix the ras-el-hanout (add less if you want less heat) in a small bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil. Rub the mixture all over the salmon and season with ¼ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Leave to the side to marinate while you prep everything else.
2. Prep the onion. Heat 1½ tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion with ¼ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook slowly with a lid on the pan until very soft, 15–20 mins. Check regularly to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan. If it does, turn down the heat and add a dash of water.
3. While the onion cooks, finely chop the mint leaves and discard the stalks. Chop the vine tomatoes into ½cm dice. Zest ½ tsp lemon zest and then halve the lemon widthways, ready to juice.
4. Once the onion is soft, add 300ml water to the pan. Bring to the boil, add the vegetable stock cube and stir to dissolve. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the couscous and stir everything together. Place a lid on the pan and leave to the side for 10 mins whilst you cook the salmon.
5. Preheat your grill to high. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, place the salmon in the pan skin-side down. Cook for 4 mins without moving the salmon. Then place the pan under your grill. Grill the salmon for 4–5 mins until cooked and opaque all the way through. Remove from under your grill, add the butter to the pan and squeeze over 1 tbsp lemon juice. Spoon the juice over the salmon then take off the heat.
6. Stir the mint and tomato into the couscous along with ¼ tsp lemon zest (add more if you want it really citrussy). Pour any juices from the pan into the couscous and stir. To serve, place the couscous into bowls, top it off with the salmon and squeeze over a little more lemon juice.