Lemon & Paprika Couscous Salad

If you live in the southern hemisphere like me, then this salad is a perfect Christmas addition to a summer Christmas meal. All those beautiful red and green colours all wrapped up in a tasty salad. It’s made with Israeli couscous - which is quite large compared to Moroccan style couscous.

The first time I ate Israeli couscous I wasn’t that sure that I liked it. We had it hot as a side dish. I am still not that sure that I like it that much hot, but I simply love it in salads. This salad is so simple and adaptable you will want to keep a package of Israeli couscous in your pantry just for this. You will usually find it in the international section at the supermarket or speciality food stores.

Plus you get the bonus of having everyone look at it slightly sideways and asking .. what is that? Kit likes to tell people they are frog eggs, I tend to tell people it’s a kind of tiny pasta since I’m sensible and a bit boring like that. Of course once they have had that first mouthful they are hooked.

Lemon and Paprika Couscous Salad

  • 1 250 gram package of Israeli couscous (8.8 oz I think)
  • 1 lemon - juiced.
  • 1/4 cup of good olive oil
  • 6 inch piece of cucumber diced
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum) diced
  • 1 green onion finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely crushed (optional)
  • 1 tspn of smoked paprika
  • 2 Tblspns of fresh flat leaf parsley (if you do not have fresh just omit)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook your couscous as for pasta in boiling water. Test after about 7 minutes, it should still be slightly al dente. Squeeze one of the grains between your fingers to test if done. Drain in a colander and run cold water over the top to stop the cooking and then set aside while you get on with the rest of the salad.

Place all your other ingredients except the Paprika in a medium sized bowl and add your couscous on the top, stir to mix well then sprinkle your paprika on top and stir again - taste for seasoning.

I often find myself putting in a little more lemon - but then again I like lemon. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving to give the flavours a chance to meld.

Two other nice optional additions to the salad are corn kernels and chopped olives.

Just a quick post today, since I have to finish up the Christmas shopping, two more days till Santa comes down the chimney. Tomorrow I think I might make the big guy in the red suit some biscochitos - I happen to know on good authority that he’s pretty fond of them.