Couscous and flageolet niçoise

    30 min

    This is a bright, cheery salad with a real Mediterranean feel and flavour. Couscous is mixed with pale green flageolet beans, then tossed with fresh green beans, tomatoes and cucumber in a piquant dressing made with sun-dried tomatoes. Serve as a main course for a delightful summer lunch.

    6 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 250 g (8½ oz) couscous
    • 400 ml (14 fl oz) boiling water
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
    • 140 g (5 oz) green beans
    • ½ cucumber
    • 2 cans flageolet beans, about 410 g each, drained and rinsed
    • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
    • 200 g (7 oz) cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    • 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
    • 8 anchovy fillets, drained and halved lengthways
    • 75 g (2½ oz) black olives
    • Sun-dried tomato dressing
    • juice of 1 large lemon
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:30min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. First make the dressing. Combine the lemon juice, oil, sun-dried tomatoes and pepper to taste in a screwtop jar, cover and shake well to mix. Set aside.
    2. Put the couscous into a large mixing bowl and pour over the boiling water. Stir in the olive oil and dried herbs, then cover and leave for 5 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed all the water. Uncover, stir to separate the grains and leave to cool.
    3. Meanwhile, steam the green beans for 3–4 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Drain, then refresh under cold running water. Cut in half.
    4. Cut the cucumber into thick slices, then cut each slice into 4 wedges. Stir the cucumber into the couscous, together with the flageolet beans, green beans, onion and tomatoes. Add the dressing and toss gently until well mixed. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary (remember that the anchovies and olives will be salty).
    5. Transfer the salad to a serving bowl. Garnish with the hard-boiled egg quarters, anchovies and black olives, and serve.

    Some more ideas

    For a vegetarian dish, simply omit the anchovies. * Make a butter bean couscous salad, using 2 cans butter beans, about 410 g each, drained and rinsed, instead of flageolet beans. Replace the green beans with 2 large peppers, 1 red and 1 green, seeded and cut into thin strips. Make the dressing with 1 tbsp pesto, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. To garnish, instead of eggs, anchovies and olives, grill 100 g (3½ oz) lean back bacon, then drain well and crumble it over the salad.

    Plus points

    Couscous, made from semolina, is the staple food in many North African countries. Like other cereals, it is low in fat and high in starchy carbohydrate. * The vitamin C content in tomatoes is concentrated in the jelly-like substance surrounding the seeds. * Anchovies offer calcium and phosphorus, both essential minerals for the maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. These minerals are retained in canned anchovies.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B12, C, E, iron * A, B2, B6, folate, niacin, calcium, copper, potassium, selenium, zinc

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    Great idea for summer!  -  19 Aug 2013