Salmon & lemon couscous with broad bean purée, pancetta & mint

Salmon & lemon couscous with broad bean purée, pancetta & mint

15 mins
Cooking time
15 mins
Deidre Rooney

As well as being an incredibly healthy dish that contains both beans and grains, this is very light and summery. You can leave the mint oil out, although it does make a simple dish special.

From the grocer


Quantity Ingredient
185ml olive oil
3/4 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
100g butter, melted
2 tablespoons thick cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g wholemeal couscous
500ml chicken stock or water
60ml extra-virgin olive oil

From the greengrocer

Quantity Ingredient
5 large mint sprigs, leaves picked
25g mint leaves, torn into small pieces
500g fresh or frozen broad beans
1 small onion, very finely chopped
4 lemons, juiced
lemon, squeezed
3 lemons, zested, sliced very thinly

From the fishmonger

Quantity Ingredient
6 x 175g salmon fillets

From the butcher

Quantity Ingredient
200g unsmoked pancetta, cut into chunks


  1. To make the mint oil, put 125 ml of the olive oil, the leaves from the 5 mint sprigs, the sugar and vinegar in a blender and process. Taste to see if it has a good sweet–sour balance. Cover and set aside to let the flavours infuse.
  2. For the purée, cook the beans in boiling water until tender and then drain. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and tip the beans into a blender or food processor. Add the butter, cream, salt and pepper and the squeeze of lemon. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over a low–medium heat and sauté the onion until soft but not coloured and set aside. Put the couscous into a large bowl. Heat the stock or water to boiling then pour over the couscous and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave for 10 minutes to plump up.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in two frying pans. Season the salmon and cook 3 fillets in each pan over a medium heat, flesh side down, for 1½–2 minutes, or until golden. Turn the fish over and repeat. Reduce the heat, cover the pan and let the salmon continue to cook until it is cooked through but still moist. In a separate frying pan over a medium heat, quickly sauté the pancetta in its own fat while the fish is cooking.
  5. Warm the bean purée. Fluff up and aerate the couscous using a fork and add the onion and the lemon zest. Pour in the lemon juice gradually, tasting as you go, until the couscous is as lemony as you want it. Add the 25 g mint leaves and the extra-virgin olive oil. Flake the salmon into the couscous and add the pan juices and the pancetta. Toss gently and taste for seasoning.
  6. Divide the salmon couscous between six plates and put a spoonful of the broad bean purée on top. Serve drizzled with the mint oil.
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