Couscous originates from North African. It consists of very small steamed balls of semolina. Like rice and pasta, it lends itself to a near infinite number of combinations as it takes on a character depending on what you cook it with. This dish brings citrus flavors, berries, nuts, and salmon together into a fragrant synchronised package.
This dish is not typical of any particular North African region, though closest to how Tunisia prepares couscous. Not that that matters. The combination of flavors and textures in this dish does transcend any specific geographical region.
Baked fruit and nut couscous with salmon
- 350 g couscous
- 750 g salmon fillets 150g per person
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 200 ml water
- 100 g dried cranberries
- 100 g pine nuts
- 1 tsp five spice
- 1 stick of cinnamon
- 60 g butter
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 grated rind of an orange
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 200 degC.
- Combine the dried cranberries, couscous, Five Spice, and cinnamon stick in a large bowl.
- Bring the chicken stock and water to a boil and pour over the couscous mixture. Dot with 10 g butter.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap and fluff up the couscous mixture with a fork, removing the cinnamon stick.
- Toast the pine nuts until just starting to brown.
- Add the pine nuts and parsley to the couscous mixture and gently combine.
- Prepare 5 pieces of aluminium foil.
- Spread some couscous mixture on each piece of foil.
- Top with a salmon fillet.
- Sprinkle some orange zest, orange juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper on to the salmon fillets.
- Dot butter around each package (10g each)
- Seal the aluminium foil parcels, not tightly, leaving some air space in each one.
- Bake the foil parcels in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Check at 15 minutes, especially if you like “medium rare” salmon.