Ottolenghi's Couscous, Cherry Tomato & Herb Salad

July 12, 2021
20 Ratings
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

"This salad is perfect at a summer barbecue, great alongside all sorts of grilled meats and vegetables. Make the couscous, onion, and raisin mix 1 day in advance, if you like, and keep separately in the fridge—just bring back to room temperature before serving."

This recipe is featured in the story, A Simple, Make-Ahead Menu from Ottolenghi’s Latest Cookbook, sponsored by Ten Speed Press. It is reprinted from Simple, by Yotam Ottolenghi with Tara Wigley and Esme Howarth, with permission from our partner Ten Speed Press.

This recipe was featured on our new cook-along podcast Play Me a Recipe. Listen as Arati Menon cooks her way through this recipe, offering insider tips and backstory along the way.Food52

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 2/3 cups boiling water
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes
  • 2 onions, sliced paper-thin
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and lightly crushed
  • 1/3 cup roasted and salted almonds, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cup mint leaves, roughly torn
  • 1 lemon (finely zest to get 1 teaspoon, then juice to get 1 tablespoon)
  1. Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon ras el hanout, 3/4 teaspoon 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 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan and place over high heat. Once hot, add the tomatoes and fry for 3 to 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 tablespoons of oil and return to medium-high heat. Add the onions, the remaining 1 teaspoon of ras el hanout, and 1/8 teaspoon salt and fry for 10 to 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, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a generous grind of pepper and mix gently.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter, top with the tomatoes, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen Brooks
    Karen Brooks
  • Sam
  • LynnM
  • GAW

9 Reviews

LynnM January 14, 2023
This recipe was perfect for me as is. Served with Yotam's grilled chicken recipe. Sensational. Loved it a lot.
Karen B. September 26, 2022
Loved the flavors in this salad! I have that genetic aversion to cilantro so used Italian flat leaf parsley which worked fine. I made the mistake of using less onion...won't make that mistake again as the caramelized onions were terrific! Also added more lemon juice to amp up the flavor. I think more of the tomatoes would be good too. Had Marcona almonds so toasted and salted them for the salad.
GAW July 11, 2022
Accidentally left out the cumin, but did not miss it. The recipe serves more than four portions! Happily, it holds particularly well, making it a sanity saver for dinner party prep and the leftovers will still taste great on day 3. Just finish the tomatoes before serving. Everyone enjoyed it.
Lauren L. January 24, 2022
A big fan of Ottolenghi, especially simple dishes like this. Fun fact, ras el hanout historically contained Spanish fly, an ingredient that likely killed George Washington and Simon Bolivar, among others.
Sadie August 23, 2021
Loved this salad as written, but the next time I make it I'll caramelize more onions and won't slice them paper thin, and add more raisins and almonds. There's a lot of couscous and the onions, raisins and almonds got a bit lost. Feta was a nice addition as noted by mvmom.
mvmom July 12, 2021
Super delicious! We added a little feta, too--and more tomatoes. Yum!
Ann C. September 16, 2019
A friend brought this to a dinner at my house yesterday. Absolutely delicious. I think I'd increase the number of tomatoes as that was the best part!
salena September 3, 2019
Absolutely delicious. Served as a side at a large party, made ahead and held at room temperature. Especially delicious with lamb. Toasting and then crushing the cumin seeds in a pestle was a revelation and I love to find uses for ras el hanout I bought.
Sam March 24, 2019
I loved this recipe -- made it as a dinner salad and it did not disappoint. Perfect roll out recipe to spring.