No-Cook Tomato CousCous Salad

July 10, 2020

No-Cook Tomato CousCous Salad

I can say without a hint of doubt that this is going to be THE recipe for what will probably be remembered as one of the most awkward summers of our life (sigh!)
I used the adjective “awkward” instead of more bitter ones just because — being ever the optimist — I know (more like I hope) that sooner or later we’ll find a way out of this ditch.
Anyways, I found this recipe while perusing a French cooking website. I was skeptical at first but intrigued nonetheless. The non-cooking part was what sold me on it. With the heat and humidity rising the very last thing I feel like doing is turning on the stove.

No-Cook Tomato CousCous Salad

It's a straightforward and simple recipe, here’s how it works: Stir the couscous with olive oil and lemon juice, puree the tomatoes and the shallot, mix everything together, place in the fridge, and forget about it.
After 3 to 4 hours (or better yet overnight) you’ll find that the couscous has absorbed all the liquid and flavors while the lemon juice has “cooked” it. All you have to do is to fluff with a fork.

No-Cook Tomato CousCous Salad

As with simple recipes, the secret is in the quality of the ingredients you use.
In this particular one the tomatoes make all the difference. Try to find the ripest, sweetest ones you can find. Under ripe or worse tomatoes that taste like water (the so-called red water bombs) are a big no-no.
The better the tomatoes, the better the couscous. That’s about it.
You can also customize it any way you like. I like to spicy it up a little bit with cayenne pepper or chili powder. Don’t forget about the herbs, they make all of the difference.

No-Cook Tomato CousCous Salad

This No-Cook Tomato Couscous Salad is a light, flavor-packed salad that’s delightful paired with virtually any grilled protein but stands alone as a vegan meal.
I like to have it with some avocado and greens on the side. A simple and fresh summer meal that is perfect any day.

No-Cook Tomato CousCous Salad                                                                                                  Print this recipe!
Adapted from Encore Un Gateau

Serves 6 as a side (or 4 as a main dish)

1 ½ cups couscous (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
Juice of 2 lemons
1 shallot (or small onion), peeled and quartered
3 medium tomatoes (pick the ripest, sweetest tomatoes you can find), quartered
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder (optional but highly recommended)
Chopped fresh herbs for garnish (mint, thyme, oregano or basil)


Place couscous in a large bowl (preferably one with a lid). Add oil and stir using a fork until evenly coated. Add lemon juice and mix well. Set aside.
Place quartered onions and tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse until pureed.
Add pureed tomatoes, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using) to the couscous and mix until combined.
Cover with a lid (or with plastic wrap) and refrigerate for at least 3 to 4 hours (or overnight if you'd like to prep it in advance.)
Take the bowl out of the refrigerator and fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with your favorite chopped herb and serve.

Nutrition facts

One serving yields 276 calories, 10 grams of fat, 42 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of protein.


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