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Giant couscous with golden raisins, lemon and almonds

Side Veganisable
Serves 4
Prep 6 min
Cook 25 min

This is a great side served both warm and at room temperature. It’s an ideal portable meal that can be made well in advance, easy to transport and will keep well for hours.


250g giant couscous
500ml vegetable stock
1 lemon
½ tbsp olive oil
60g golden (or normal) raisins
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds, toasted and crushed in a pestle and mortar
60g flaked almonds, toasted
15g dill leaves, roughly chopped
15g basil leaves, roughly torn
30g parsley leaves
120ml olive oil
1 small garlic clove
salt and black pepper


  1. Add the couscous to a medium saucepan (for which you have a lid) on a medium-high heat. Dry-toast the couscous until some of the pearls begin to colour, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and ¾ teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook the couscous for 10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn the heat off and leave the couscous to sit, covered, for another 10 minutes.
  2. While the couscous is cooking, finely grate the lemon to give you 2 teaspoons of zest and place in a small bowl. Using a small, sharp knife, trim the tops and tails off the zested lemon. Cut down along its round curves, removing the skin and white pith. Release the segments from the lemon by slicing between the membranes and then cut each segment into rough chunks and add them to the zest. Squeeze any remaining juice from what’s left of the lemon into the same bowl, about a teaspoon.
  3. After the couscous has rested for 10 minutes, remove the lid. Stir in the lemon zest, flesh, juice and the oil and leave to cool.
  4. Place the raisins in a bowl, cover with about 50 millilitres boiling water and set aside to soak for 10 minutes before draining well. Add the raisins, cumin, almonds, herbs, ¼ teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper to the couscous.
  5. For the parsley oil, combine all the ingredients in a blender along with 1/8th teaspoon salt and blitz until smooth. Serve the couscous with the oil spooned on top just before serving, if serving at the table, or in advance if packing for a picnic.