Caraway and Cumin Couscous Salad

Does anybody else find it a little strange that salads are generally at their best when their creator has played a little loose and fast with the definition of the term? A salad is fairly stringently defined as something made with raw vegetables, though the Americans would have it that tuna mixed with mayonnaise should be described as a salad. Yet, there have been countless instances, this being one of them, where there is no better word to describe what one is eating. Perhaps the title of this recipe ought to be suffixed with the phrase, ‘for want of a better term’.

This may appear to be a rather simple salad and indeed it is, but rather a lot of deliberation was required to perfectly balance its flavours. When using whole spices one would usually, though not always, dry toast them in the pan before grinding them into a powder. However, this didn’t appear to me to be the best course of action, since doing so would have overpowered the other flavours. Indeed, the walnuts would have been rendered very nearly useless, confined to the lowly position of ‘crunch provider’. Such a cruel fate should not be pushed upon any ingredient, let alone the much-loved walnut. So, without further ado, please enjoy my ‘for want of a better term’ salad

Caraway and Cumin Couscous Salad

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 100g couscous, giant if possible

• 2 tsp cumin seeds

• 2 tsp caraway seeds

• 2 handfuls of walnuts, roughly crushed

• A handful of chopped parsley

• A handful of chopped coriander

• 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, cider vinegar or lemon juice

• Salt, pepper and olive oil

Method:

1. Toast the cumin and caraway seeds in a little olive oil until they begin to pop. Add the garlic before stirring in the cooked couscous. Fold in the walnuts, parsley and coriander before seasoning and drizzling with a little more olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice.

Cost: These sorts of very simple, quick meals tend to be extremely cheap and this one is no exception. The entire dish, which is surprisingly filling, should set one back no more than 60-70p.

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60 comments on “Caraway and Cumin Couscous Salad

  1. denlyn3
    April 1, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Couscous is great to cook with, it will take on the flavors with it. The toasted seeds and fresh herbs will be great with this.

  2. An Unrefined Vegan
    April 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Sounds delicious – love the warm flavors.

  3. annesturetucker
    April 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Couscous salad with caraway and cumin – done to perfection! Great to add walnuts! This looks fantastic!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Thanks! The walnuts add a great taste and fantastic crunch.

  4. baconbiscuit212
    April 1, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    What’s wrong with tuna and mayonnaise? There is mayonnaise!

    ;-)

    Salad looks great, btw! I see you’re getting good use out of that pan!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Well… nothing… I hate tuna…it isn’t a salad though is it?! I love the pan and shall use it regularly :D

  5. Villy
    April 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    This would be lovely also eaten fresh, and then there is no doubt you can call it a salad ;)

  6. thelittleloaf
    April 1, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    This looks like a lovely balance of flavours – would be delicious with bulgur wheat too.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Thanks! Yes, I was toying with using bulgur wheat.

  7. promenadeplantings
    April 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I don’t use Carawy seeds enough, a good prompt, thank you!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:25 am

      No problem, they are such an underrated spice.

  8. Choc Chip Uru
    April 1, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Couscous salad is one of my favourite creations! Yours looks wonderful :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Bleeding Jam Marbled Mudcake

  9. tanyamhudson
    April 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Oh, yum! I always forget about caraway seeds, but they’ve got such a good flavor, and cumin might be my favorite spice. Filing this recipe under stuff to try very soon!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:24 am

      They really are lovely – so warming and citrus. I hope you enjoy it.

  10. ceciliag
    April 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    I love caraway seeds, what an excellent and simple dish. Simple dishes are not always as simple as they look! c

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:23 am

      They are so warming and delicious, almost citrusy in taste. Thanks, Cecilia.

  11. Spoon Feast
    April 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Nice, Frugal! The table you photograph on is a lovely piece. It showcases your food so well.
    Couscous is great for a fast meal. You can add just about anything to it.Thanks for sharing your version, delicious!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:22 am

      Thanks! Yes, I absolutely adore my table – couldn’t live without it. Indeed, I do hope you try it :)

  12. Brianne
    April 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Caraway and cumin sound like a great pair! I’ll definitely be trying this.

  13. shuhan
    April 1, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    looks delicious! I just love it when cumin seeds are added to a dish, whether salad or curry. it’s one of my favourite spices. what a way to zest up couscous. will try adding caraway next time too (:

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      Thanks! Me too. It is probably my favourite, but caraway is much undervalued.

  14. k.m.
    April 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm

    I love these sorts of ad hoc salads (and I agree, there has to be a better word/phrase for them). They’re probably my favorite thing to cook and eat when I don’t have to please anyone else’s palate, meaning perfect for taking to work for lunch!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

      Awesome :D. I honestly don’t think there is a better description of them, at least, not one that’s so succinct. It’s so good to take lunch to work rather than buy it.

  15. Just A Smidgen
    April 2, 2012 at 12:49 am

    This is exactly the sort of lunch I would love.. simple, clean food, fresh spices.. Whatever you want to call it.. I call it enticing! xo Smidge

  16. Shira
    April 2, 2012 at 1:17 am

    I would never have thought to combine those two spices….and I like! Would be wonderful using quinoa too!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:20 am

      They work wonderfully together, I promise. Yes quinoa or bulgur wheat!

  17. filingawaycupcakes
    April 2, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Excellent photos, great recipe!

  18. bakedinpretoria
    April 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Great recipe, and the photos are really good as well.

  19. Style Theories
    April 2, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Looks amazing! I am going to try it tonight for dinner!

  20. Purely.. Kay
    April 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Let me just say.. I LOVE THAT PAN. I just wanted to get that out before I told you how much I love your couscous recipe :)

  21. countrywoodsmoke
    April 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    seriously good salad there! and very envious of your lovely bowl.
    Cheers
    Marcus

  22. My Inner Chick
    April 3, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Now,
    that is what I consider a salad!
    W O W !!
    Lovely.

  23. Michelle
    April 3, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Always looking for good salads to take to the office for lunch. This one is now on the list!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:14 am

      Awesome, it’ll fulfil its requirements to perfection, I’m sure.

  24. the Jilb
    April 3, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I haven’t had couscous in forever! Must get on that!

  25. Daily Dose of Fresh
    April 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    This looks really lovely, so simply and I just love cous-cous. I think I should make this Saturday for myself since nobody at home share my love for cous-cous especially without meat.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • frugalfeeding
      April 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      I do too, it makes such a good salad. Give it a go :D

  26. healthnhorizons
    April 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    love couscous, i must try it with your combination of spices! must say though that the bowl was the first thing that caught my eye, and seeing other commenters, i see i’m not the only one ;) great pics!

  27. Ragamuffin Diaries
    April 5, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I also LOVE that bowl! my definition of salad is definitely quite loose. Looks yummy!

    • frugalfeeding
      April 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks, Raga! I love the bowl too – twas a bargain.

  28. kitchentraveller
    April 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I like that you used caraway seed in this. I like the flavor so much, and have only ever used it in seed cake before (another lovely old-fashioned and overlooked treat, in my view).

  29. T2K
    April 10, 2012 at 1:53 am

    That looks absolutley amazing. I love cous cous and I’m always trying to think up different ways of using it in a salad. I wish I hadn’t read this an hour before lunchtime!

    Mel

    • frugalfeeding
      April 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks! Haha. I hope you enjoy it if you try it.

  30. mrsbuenavida
    April 26, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    that looks sooo good!

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