Recipe – Salmon Tagine with Lemony Couscous

Here’s a deliciously different  way of serving fresh salmon that’s been marinated in an African spice paste called chermoula. If you can’t find chermoula, make your own (*simple instructions below) – it will taste even better.

Served over a lemony, minted couscous, this colorful and rather exotically fragrant dish is loaded with vegetables – and if you don’t make your own preserved lemon, use finely grated fresh lemon zest to give the couscous a perfumed tang.

Start by marinating the salmon for an hour or better yet, overnight if you have time.

Note: I used little purple potatoes because that’s what I had  but for a brighter-looking dish, use baby white potatoes or the red-skinned variety.


Tagine of Wild Salmon & Vegetables with Lemony Minted Couscous


(Serves 4)


5 fl oz (170g) of chermoula paste (recipe below)

1lb of wild salmon fillet, skinned and cut into chunks

11 oz (300g) of wholewheat couscous

A good grind of sea salt

The thinly sliced rind of 1/2 a preserved lemon – or the finely grated zest of half a fresh lemon

3 tablespoons of extra-v olive oil (for the couscous)

A small bunch of fresh mint, leaves stripped and chopped (save a few for a garnish)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

12 oz (340g) of baby potatoes, washed and halved

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

2 fat cloves of garlic, minced

14oz (400g) can of chopped tomatoes and their juice

A handful of pitted kalamata olives, halved


Spread the chermoula paste over the fish, cover and chill for at least 1 hr or overnight.

Make the couscous: put it in a bowl with a grind of sea salt and pour 14fl oz (400ml) of boiling water over. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes then fluff it with a fork. Add most of the lemon peel (or fresh lemon zest), the extra-v olive oil and chopped mint. Set it aside.

In a heavy sauté pan, heat the remaining oil over a medium heat then add the sliced onion, carrots, potatoes, cumin and a good grind of sea salt. Sauté for 5-6 minutes then add the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the canned tomatoes along with 10 fl oz (300ml) of water and the olives. Bring it to a boil then reduce to a gentle simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are slightly tender. Add the fish, gently tossing to combine, then simmer for another 5-6 minutes until everything is cooked through.

Check the seasoning and let it sit covered for another 5 minutes. Serve with the couscous plus a few mint leaves and the remaining lemon peel or zest scattered over.


Put the following ingredients in a blender and pulse until you have a thick, green-flecked paste:

250ml fresh cilantro (coriander leaf)

4 fat cloves of garlic

2 tbsp of white wine vinegar

The juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp of ground paprika

1 tbsp of ground cumin

1 red chili, seeds discarded

2 tbsp of olive oil

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
This entry was posted in Fish & Seafood. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Recipe – Salmon Tagine with Lemony Couscous

  1. julie says:

    I knew I should have caught up on my reading before I did the grocery shopping! Now I’ll have to go back 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s