Blood Orange and Couscous Salad


The blood orange season is drawing to a close – March will be their last hurrah – though their tart flavour and vibrant colour more than makes up for a rather ephemeral existence. The best way to consume a regular orange is to feast on its sweet flesh, alone and unadulterated. However, as a result of their somewhat more complex flavour things are a little different when it comes to blood oranges – it makes them ideal candidates for all manner of salad. Though, of course, they do remain a pleasure when consumed in culinary isolation.

Pomegranate Molasses is a concentrated pomegranate juice (not actually molasses), making it extremely sweet, but also rather sharp. It is a versatile ingredient and works well with meat, fish and vegetables alike. Being a little similar to balsamic vinegar, pomegranate molasses also perform brilliantly in vinaigrettes – simply whip up with a little olive oil and lemon juice and administer liberally.

Blood Orange and Couscous Salad

You will, of course, be relieved to know that the sharp molasses pair wonderfully with the tart orange, making for a sweet, though powerful, flavour. When choosing your couscous try and find giant couscous (also known as ptitim or Israeli couscous) as it holds the vinaigrette pleasingly well. However, regular couscous (though it is made differently) or quinoa would work tolerably well instead. Whichever you choose, stick with the basic recipe and the proceedings will be thoroughly enjoyable.

Blood Orange and Couscous Salad {recipe}

Serves 4-6


• 200g giant couscous

• 2 blood oranges

• 5 spring onions, finely sliced

• 2 tbsp fresh basil or parsley, roughly chopped

• 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

• 3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil

• Half a lemon, the juice of

• Salt and pepper


1. Pop the couscous on to boil, this should take 8 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the rind from the oranges and cut into small segments (as pictured). Mix together the molasses, oil and lemon juice in a small bowl – beat thoroughly.

2. Once the couscous is soft through, drain it and transfer to a large bowl. Tip in the vinaigrette and mix well – season to taste. Gently stir through the orange, onions and herbs and serve – it can be stored overnight in the fridge.

Cost: The entire salad, which is more than enough for four as a main and six as a side, set us back around £3.20. Not a bad price at all – it was very filling indeed.


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61 comments on “Blood Orange and Couscous Salad

  1. cookinginsens
    February 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    That’s a very nice orange. I never find nice ones like that.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Try choosing the ones that have red flecked on their skins!

  2. oceannah
    February 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    gorgeous blood oranges! I agree w/ cookinginsens that many of mine are not nearly as ‘bloody’

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Try choosing the ones that have red flecked on their skins!

  3. annashortcakes
    February 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Gorgeous! The colors are stunning. Proof healthy food can be gorgeous and make you want to eat them.

  4. thesinglegourmetandtraveller
    February 25, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Lovely recipe.

  5. Sue/the view from great island
    February 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    This dish has got all the bells and whistles as far as I’m concerned—the colors, the flavors, and healthy too!

  6. Cin Cin Let's Eat!
    February 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Wow this looks fantastic! Will have to to give this a try soon before blood oranges go out of season. Beautiful pictures too :)

  7. Susan at Savvy Single Suppers
    February 25, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Been looking for a recipe to try with Israeli couscous, which I bought without knowing how I might cook it. Hoping to source pomegranate molasses at a health food store?

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      I guess that’s the place – I actually got it as a present!

  8. KellyInTheKitchenDotNet
    February 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Food porn alert – what a totally gorgeous dish!!

  9. rachelbeginshere
    February 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    this looks amazing what a great dish (and totally different than your usual couscous salad) and healthy! you sold me- totally trying this fab salad

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      Please do, it’s so yummy!

  10. narf77
    February 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Well what do you know?! I have a container of Israeli couscous (what we antipodeans call that big stuff) on my shelf, a gift from shopping day from my erstwhile man who thought I might just like it (ring first babe…RING FIRST! 😉 ) that has been languishing there for months now because I had no idea what to do with it and even though pomegranates are not in season here (lucky, I don’t really like them…too fiddly) I can make this almost like original :) you are starting to branch out into the “interesting” catagories now Mr Frugal, well done you! :)

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      How serendipitous! I do try to be as interesting as possible, keeps my regulars coming back 😀

  11. Kate Olsson
    February 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    I have such a kitchen crush on Israeli couscous! adore the texture. This looks fab, frugal. Beautiful colours!

  12. Conor Bofin
    February 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Fantastic colours Nick. A good trick with any food at this time of year.

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      Absolutely – can’t wait for warm weather 😀

  13. Chica Andaluza
    February 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    How funny, I made a dish last night with giant cous cous and pomegranate molasses but no blood orange – want to make your version now!

  14. Clare Cooks!
    February 25, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Looks delicious. I love blood oranges. I think I will have to try this with quinoa to make it gluten free.

  15. Erin
    February 26, 2013 at 4:01 am

    I am definitely going to make this, though it might be an interesting adventure finding a place that sells Pomegranate molasses. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. Carolyn Chan
    February 26, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Simple and delicious – I guess I could make that with normal couscous, yes ? Hard to find the giant one here.

  17. baconbiscuit212
    February 26, 2013 at 7:44 am

    I love blood oranges in salads and this looks great. Mine is blood orange slices, roasted almonds, arugula, parmesan flakes, and almond oil.

  18. Bam's Kitchen (@bamskitchen)
    February 26, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Gorgeous Dish Nick and Gigantic couscous indeed! I love that size! We get about ever fruit imaginable in Hong kong , except blood oranges but will try this recipe with regular as the flavors will be close. I hope this comment goes though to you as I have been having issues. Take care, BAM

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks, Bam! It is BIG!

  19. divaofdelicious
    February 26, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    As always, I’m amazed at the great ingredients you find and assemble so frugally. Nice!

  20. ohlidia
    February 26, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Love blood oranges, as do my girls. Have always wanted to try Israeli couscous. Beautiful salad!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:39 pm

      They are so yum – israeli couscous is my favourite now.

  21. Eva Taylor
    February 26, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    This sounds and looks gorgeous. We call that type of couscous Israeli couscous.

  22. Purely.. Kay
    February 26, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    I love the blood orange in this couscous salad. I just know the flavor is absolutely delish.

  23. Natalie Ward
    February 26, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    So jealous of your giant cous cous, and the blood oranges! Believe it or not I’ve yet to find them here, in the land of oranges! My hero Ottolenghi uses that cous cous a lot and I WANT SOME!!!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 2, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      That’s such a shame – strange! I love couscous.

  24. Joyti
    February 26, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Yes, meyer lemons are almost done here. And blood oranges will follow shortly. But we’ll have rhubarb and strawberries to make up for them :)
    The pearl couscous and blood orange salad looks amazing. Gorgeous.

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      Oh yummy! thanks!

  25. Korena in the Kitchen
    February 27, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I keep seeing blood oranges at the green grocer and thinking, “I should buy some of those,” and then somehow I don’t. They are so beautiful! The couscous looks wonderful Nick.

  26. eatlovedo
    February 27, 2013 at 10:32 am

    I’m excited to try this recipe. Looks delicious and nutritious!

  27. RecipeAdaptors
    February 27, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Those oranges look great. I’ve never used them before but will keep an eye out for them from now onwards.

  28. Somer
    February 27, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Blast. I think your blood orange salad beat the pants off my carrot ribbon salad. Touche.

  29. Alli
    February 28, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I making this this weekend. It looks amazing!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 10:22 pm


  30. Justine@cookingandbeer
    February 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    What a great idea to add blood orange to a couscous salad! Love it.

  31. terrepruitt
    March 2, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    AH! I didn’t know there was different sized couscous. I have never seen it that large. The kind I am familiar with is little and it rolls all over the place! This is a beautiful dish!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

      Go in search – it’s delicious! Thanks.

  32. denise and sandy
    March 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    salads made with grains and fruit are not just beautiful but very satisfying. they make a meal.

  33. rachsmith
    March 8, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I’ve been going big on pomegranate molasses recently (inspired by: but hadn’t thought of blood orange/pomegranate combination. Looks absolutely beautiful. Going to get me some blood oranges (already have mograbiah) and give this a go…thanks!

    • Admin
      March 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Give it a whirl – it works well!

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