Red Onion, Cumin and Pinenut Cous Cous Salad

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A World in My Kitchen

A World in My Kitchen

By Peter Gordon

Published 2003

  • About

This is based on a recipe I learnt over 10 years ago from a Roman chef friend called Carla. It’s best served at room temperature, as part of a buffet-style lunch. It can be made up to 6 hours before serving.


  • 300 g (10 ½ oz) instant cous cous
  • 370 ml (12 ½ fl oz) tepid water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium red onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin (optional)
  • 80 ml (2 ½ fl oz) olive oil
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz) pinenuts, toasted
  • 80 ml (2 ½ fl oz) balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced


    Place cous cous in a bowl and pour in water. Stir in salt and pepper.

    Fry onions, rosemary and cumin in oil until caramelised, stirring frequently. Add pinenuts and vinegar and cook over a high heat, stirring, until vinegar has almost evaporated. Tip mixture on top of cous cous and mix in. Stand 10 minutes then add spring onions, mix again and serve.