This is a highly refreshing Turkish couscous salad recipe called ’couscous kisir’ but you will also find recipe versions of it that ask for bulgur or wheat instead of couscous. You can compare it with a tabbouleh. It’s actually pretty similar if you look at the ingredients below. The difference is that kisir is drenched in an oily tomato paste dressing right before it is served which gives it that particular bright red color.
Serve the salad lukewarm or at room temperature. You can easily make this couscous salad a few hours in advance. Cover it with cling film before putting it in the fridge for a while to prevent the couscous from drying out. Then give the salad a good stir before you plate it up.
Looking for a lighter coucous salad? Maybe this Moroccan version with crunchy zucchini and cinnamon is more to your taste?
Ingredients for 2 persons
6 oz (170 g) couscous
1 cup (240 ml) vegetable stock
2 tbsp red onion, chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
⅙ cup (40 ml) olive oil
a handful fresh parsley, chopped
Bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Pour the couscous in a ceramic dish or glass bowl. Add the hot stock and stir using a fork.
Cover the dish for 10 minutes until the vegetable stock has been absorbed.
Once the couscous is cooked and tender, fluff it a little with a fork. Break up any lumps. Pour the olive oil in a pan and place it over over medium heat and add the tomato paste.
Stir and fry the paste for 2 minutes and then add the chopped red onion.
Take the pan off the heat and let the oily paste cool for 5 minutes. Add the cooked couscous to the pan. Season with a little pepper and salt.
Stir well until the couscous starts to look red. Add the freshly chopped parsley and the lemon juice.
Gently stir to combine. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper, salt or lemon juice to taste if necessary. Transfer the couscous salad to a clean bowl or plate and serve lukewarm or at room temperature.
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