Giant couscous salad with preserved lemon and chermoula


This warm salad bursts with the sweet tastes of North Africa and the extra large couscous grains absorb all the delicious flavours. It’s a breeze to make the chermoula dressing and this versatile seasoning is always handy to have on standby in the refrigerator.

Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
Cooking Time: 50 Minutes


  • 500 g (1 lb2 oz) young parsnips
  • 3 red capsicums (peppers), sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 preserved lemons, quartered
  • 150 g ( oz) Israeli or giant couscous
  • 1 quantity chermoula dressing
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 small bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves only
  • 200 g (7 oz) Greek-style yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Slice the parsnips lengthways into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Place in a roasting tin with the capsicums and coat with half the olive oil and honey. Season well and roast for 35 minutes until caramelised.

Slice the flesh from the preserved lemon quarters and discard. Cut the peel into strips and set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan, add the couscous and stir over a medium heat until golden – this will only take about 4 minutes. Pour in 200 ml (7 floz) boiling water and simmer gently for about 10 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender.

Combine the roasted vegetables with the couscous in a large serving bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the chermoula dressing, the preserved lemon peel, lemon juice and most of the coriander.

Swirl the remaining chermoula dressing through the yoghurt and serve a spoonful on the salad, topped with the rest of the coriander.