Couscous, Herbs, Tomatoes Salad with Scallops

  • 40 mins total
  • 10 mins prep
  • 30 mins cook
  • serves 4 people

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Couscous, herbs, tomato salad with scallops. Sometimes you come across a recipe that just has your name written all over and you must try. As some of you may remember last summer I spend a week in Paris and there I was introduced to the wonderful work and world of  Yotam Ottolenghi. My life has not been the same since. Mediterranean, simple, and complex cooking will make you want to try a new recipe every day.  Each recipe is so easy to execute but it introduces you, in this case, me, to new flavors. Flavors that are not in my French or Italian cooking. I look forward to seeing the results of the blends that he uses with his recipes.

This recipe is an adaptation from his cookbook, Ottolenghi Simple, if you do not have one, I highly recommend you treat yourself (click here) to it you will not regret it. I did not have all the spices on hand and could not use almonds as my son has braces, and a trip to the orthodontic was not what I was looking for.

You can make this couscous salad the day before by cooking the couscous, onions raisin mix in advance. Bring it to room temperature before adding the tomatoes to it.

The cinnamon, cardamom, and coriander cooked with the couscous and onions brings out this bit of a spicy hide and seek with your palate. There to be noticed,  allowing you to taste every bite of your food by having each flavor enhance each other. And then the fresh mint and cilantro, each balancing each other and bringing a fresh cooling feeling to the dish. The lemon zest and juice bring out each flavor.

I prepared seared scallops to enjoy alongside this couscous, herbs, and tomato salad. However, poultry, lamb, any grilled meat, and vegetables would be a perfect pairing as well.

Giangi's Kitchen Signature
Nutrition Facts
Couscous, Herbs, Tomatoes Salad with Scallops
Amount Per Serving
Calories 597 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 201mg9%
Potassium 638mg18%
Carbohydrates 76g25%
Fiber 8g33%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 925IU19%
Vitamin C 44mg53%
Calcium 82mg8%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Couscous, Herbs, Tomatoes Salad with Scallops

  • 40 mins total
  • 10 mins prep
  • 30 mins cook
  • serves 4 people


Original recipe yields 4 servings

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  • 1 ½ cup couscous
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • salt
  • 1 ⅔ cup boiling water
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cups onions, sliced paper-thin
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup cilantro roughly chopped
  • ¾ cup fresh mint leaves roughly torn
  • 1 lemon: zest the whole lemon and then juice to get 2 tablespoons
  • 12 sea scallops all the same size
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. In a small bowl mix together all the spices: cardamom, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper and set aside.

    Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with half of the spice mix, ¾ teaspoon salt, and a couple of dashes of pepper, then pour in the boiling water. Stir and cover the bowl tightly with foil and set aside for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and fluff the couscous with a fork. Set aside to cool.

  2. Put 1 tablespoon olive oil int a large frying pan and place over high heat. Once hot, add the tomatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times. Cook until they start to brown and split open. Remove from the pan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and set aside with any juices.

  3. Wipe the skillet clean, then add the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil and return to medium-high heat. Add the onions, the remaining spice mixture, 1/8 teaspoon salt and fry for 10-12 minutes, stirring, until golden brown and soft. Remove from the heat, stir in the raisins, and set aside to cool.

  4. Once the couscous has cooled slightly, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the onion and raisin mix and stir. Add the cilantro, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt and a generous grind of pepper and mix gently.

  5. Transfer to a serving platter, top with the tomatoes and serve.

  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and seat the scallops for 3 minutes on each side. The scallops should be golden on the outside and springy to the touch.

I highly recommend this book  ” Simple” by Ottolenghi used to prepare this dish


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Comments (2) Post a Reply

  1. Archana says:

    Wow! that sounds delicious! I definitely will love to try this delicious salad.

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you so much for your kind compliment. This salad not only it is super easy to prepare but it can also be made the day before and stores well for a couple of days too.
      Perfect for a busy night.
      Thank you for stopping by!

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