Dairy Free, Dinner, Spring, Summer, Side, Veggies

Preserved Lemon Couscous

The pillowy grains of couscous offer ample space for the absorption of preserved lemon in all its salty glory. Ever in search of the intersection of salty/sweet/spicy/sour, I found its address in this couscous. Preserved lemon, currants, fresh chili, (and some pinenuts for texture) all crash together in the final dish, causing a riot of flavor and color. Couscous cooks in mere minutes, and with the lemons you've got on hand this dish is a snap. 


  • 2 cups Water
  • Salt
  • 1 cup Couscous
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2-3 Fresno Chilis, sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup Toasted Pinenuts
  • 3/4 cup Currants
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Flatleaf Parsley
  • 2 small Preserved Lemons, minced (~1/4-1/3 cup)
  • Optional: 2-4 tablespoons Liquid from preserved lemon jar


  1. Bring the water to a simmer in a small saucepan, add salt.
  2. In a large stockpot add the oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until just barely translucent, then add chilis and cook for a few minutes more.
  3. Add the couscous to the onion mixture, stir to combine.
  4. Pour the simmering water over the couscous and onion, turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Remove the pot from the heat source and let it sit covered for five minutes.
  5. While the couscous is cooking mix together currants, pinenuts, parsley, and preserved lemon. 
  6. After the five minutes of cooking, fluff couscous with a fork and stir in the currant/lemon mixture. 
  7. Taste and adjust seasoning with optional tablespoons of brine from lemon jar.