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Sarah Neutkens’ Couscous With Preserved Lemon

My ultimate comfort food, that all of my friends love when I serve it! It can be a side dish with sumac-roasted chicken, or with toasted chickpeas and halloumi, or simply eaten as a main course. Proper musician-fuel!



400g couscous

1 preserved lemon

A splash of olive oil

3 spring onions, chopped

A handful of toasted and crushed almonds

Freshly chopped parsley, mint and coriander (lots of it!)

Half a vegetable stock cube

1 (or 2 if you prefer) chopped red chilli pepper

4tsps ground cumin (use as much as you prefer)

2tsps dried sumac

2 tsps za’atar

Greek yoghurt (or non-dairy alternative)


Bring water to the boil, add the couscous, turn off the heat. Crumble the stock cube into the couscous, stir for a while and then cover the pan with the lid. The couscous will steam until soft.

Chop up the mint, parsley, coriander, spring onions, and chilli. Cut the preserved lemon into small cubes.

Toast the almonds until golden.

When the couscous is fluffy and soft, add a splash of olive oil to it and give it a stir. Then add the fresh herbs, chilli, spring onion and preserved lemon.

Put the couscous on a very low heat for a couple of minutes and keep stirring. Add the cumin, za’atar and sumac, and turn off the heat.

Put the couscous in a bowl and top it with the crushed and toasted almonds and a dollop of Greek or non-dairy yoghurt.



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I adored these as a child, and now my own family gets very excited polishes them off in no time! They can make an easy dinner when feeding a crowd, as a lot of the prep can be done beforehand. They’re