Harissa Salmon with Lemony Herbed Couscous

Harissa Salmon with Lemony Herbed Couscous

  • Servings: 4
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2 tablespoons harissa paste (this North African spice paste can usually be found at Middle Eastern markets and well-stocked grocery stores — they recommend rose harissa, which I cleverly faked with some regular old from-the-tube harissa combined with some dried rose petals)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lightly bashed in a mortar and pestle
salt and oil as needed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 pound salmon fillet
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed to finish
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
hefty pinch saffron
several large handfuls herbs, roughly chopped (parsley, cilantro, mint, scallions)


In a small bowl, mix together the harissa, coriander seeds, and half the lemon zest (reserve the remaining zest and juice). If your harissa is particularly thick, you can drizzle in some oil to make it spreadable.

Lay the salmon fillet out on a baking sheet, and gently spread the harissa mixture over it. Let it marinate at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Bake the salmon until it just barely begins to flake (or think about flaking), ~10 minutes or so, depending upon thickness. Remove, and let sit for a few minutes.

While the salmon is baking, prepare the couscous. Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a medium pot, then add the couscous and stir for a minute to toast. Add the broth and saffron (and additional salt if your broth isn't terribly salty), and raise the heat to a boil. Lower until it's just high enough to maintain a simmer, and cook, covered, until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, ~10 minutes.

When the couscous is done, stir in the reserved lemon zest and juice, and the fresh herbs. Add an additional drizzle of olive oil if needed to moiston, and salt to taste. Turn out onto a serving platter or individual plates, and top with the salmon, flaked.