Splendid and Simple Salmon Vegetable Couscous

January  7, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

One of my favorite easy dishes is fish baked in foil. And I love tagines on couscous, the tiny pasta sopped with big flavored stewy juices.This is not a tagine, technically speaking. But it has some of the flavors and textures that make the classic Moroccan dish so alluring to me. And it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and 20 to cook. I don't really measure when I make fish in foil, but this is a close estimation; it's an easy dish to tinker with and you should feel free to do so. But try it this way first. —EmilyNunn

What You'll Need
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 pieces salmon filet, 6-8 oz each, skin removed
  • 1 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, in very small dice
  • 1 small to medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 12 large basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 pinches red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 lemon (cut into quarters)
  • 1 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 1 cup cream, divided
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  1. Place a large oven-proof casserole or baking dish in oven and preheat to 450.
  2. Cut four sheets of tinfoil, about 18 inches long. Stack them; one by one, in the center of each, layer a quarter of the ingredients: a bit of olive oil, a bed of zucchini (about the size of fish filet), the fish, bell pepper, tomato, onion, parsley, basil. Sprinkle each with 1/4 of the cumin, the garlic, the pepper flakes, cinnamon, coriander. Squeeze the juice of a lemon wedge on each piece. Top with a tablespoon of butter.
  3. Fold the foil into a little boat shape to hold in liquid. Then splash each filet with a quarter of the wine and a quarter of the cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Fold the foil packet like an envelope and seal the edges along sides and top so that no steam or liquid could possibly escape. Remove the hot baking dish from the oven. Place packets of fish in the dish and bake for 20 minutes. They should begin to make a sizzling noise after ten minutes--cook for 10 more minutes after they do. Do not check for doneness until 20 minutes has elapsed.
  5. Make the couscous once the fish has baked for 15 minutes. Boil 1 1/2 cups water, to which you have added 2 teaspoons of butter. Add the couscous, quickly stir, then cover with lid for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
  6. Divide the couscous among 4 bowls; open the foil packets from the top, being careful not to burn yourself. Tip the packets over each bowl so that the broth runs out; use a spatula or spoon to place the fish and vegetables over each portion. Serve with more fresh parsley if you wish.
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  • Marla
  • WinnieAb
  • EmilyNunn
  • NXL

6 Reviews

NXL December 18, 2020
The flavors are great. Great way to cook a low fat salmon. The cream curdled with the wine and lemon, so next time I would leave it out.
Three M. April 15, 2012
Made this last night for my family. It was a huge hit. The resulting broth was so tasty and the fish was moist and flavorful. Did not have zucchini so I used kale also added shredded carrots. Also used a flavored olive oil (lime). This would be great with wild rice as well. The combinations could be endless! Thanks for the recipe.
Marla January 8, 2010
This recipe sounds delish! I like the idea of the cinnamon in these packets.
EmilyNunn January 14, 2010
Thanks, Marla: the cinnamon puts it over the top for me. And it appealed big time to a ten year old I know.
WinnieAb January 7, 2010
This sounds awesome Emily!
EmilyNunn January 7, 2010
Thanks Winnie! We gobbled this like animals.