Rainbow Couscous

Colourful couscous recipe

A Moroccan national dish, couscous, is made from moistened semolina wheat which, admittedly, doesn’t sound very appealing. However, add a few choice vegetables and you have a colourful, crunchy and tasty salad that kids will love!

A quick an easy recipe that’s both nutritious and filling.

Ingredients (for 4 people)

This recipe is based on supermarket bought couscous which is typically steamed and dried before packaging.

  • 200g couscous
  • 250ml boiling water
  • Vegetable stock cube
  • ½ a red OR orange pepper
  • ¼ a green pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 4 spring onions
  • 200g tinned sweetcorn

For the Dressing

  • 10g fresh coriander OR parsley
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 75ml virgin olive oil
  • 2 x 15ml spoons lemon juice
  • Black pepper (optional)
  • Red wine vinegar (optional)

Equipment you’ll need

  • Weighing scales
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Kettle
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large plate or clean tea towel
  • Fork
  • Colander
  • Chopping board
  • Sharp knife
  • Can opener
  • Sieve
  • Scissors
  • Garlic crusher
  • Small bowl
  • Whisk
  • Jar or container with tight fitting lid (optional)
  • Serving bowl

How to make the Rainbow Couscous

  1. Put the couscous in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Measure 250ml of boiling water into the measuring jug. Crumble in the stock cube and stir to dissolve.
  3. Pour the hot stock over the couscous and cover with a plate or tea towel. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add a little extra water if necessary. Allow to cool.
  5. Wash and dry the vegetables.
  6. De-seed the peppers and remove the core and any white pith. Chop into cubes (about 1½cm).
  7. Chop the tomatoes into similar size pieces to the pepper.
  8. Top and tail the spring onions and slice finely.
  9. Drain the sweetcorn and discard the liquid.
  10. Add the chopped peppers, tomatoes, spring onions and sweetcorn to the couscous and mix well with a fork.
  11. Finely chop the parsley or coriander with scissors.
  12. Peel and crush the garlic (if you are using it).
  13. Make the dressing by whisking the olive oil and lemon juice together in a small bowl (or shake together in a jar). Add the chopped coriander or parsley, crushed garlic and black pepper to taste (if using). Whisk or shake again.
  14. Pour the dressing over the couscous and mix well.
  15. For a bit more kick, add a little drizzle of red wine vinegar.

Couscous works best with strong flavours, so make sure your dressing has plenty. You could add a 5ml spoon each of honey and mustard powder.

Something to try next time

  • Use cold water (or orange juice) to soak your couscous. Leave to soak for about 30 minutes.
  • Try roasting the peppers (or other vegetables) to add even more flavour.
  • Feta or griddled halloumi cheese help turn this salad into a more substantial dish. You could add meat or fish for non-vegetarians.
  • Add nuts or seeds for more crunch and dried fruit for sweetness. (Make sure you check for allergies if using nuts though).