Fast Recipes

Couscous with roasted okra, dates and preserved lemon

A vegetarian dish that's satisfying eaten on its own, or for omnivores, pair it with barbecued lamb.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
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This dish is equally satisfying eaten on its own or with barbecued lamb. It's also a good reason to try your hand at preserving lemons – simply pack them in a jar with salt and their own juice. If you buy preserved lemons in a jar, the brighter the skin the better.


  • 250 gm (1¼ cups) couscous
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, plus lemon wedges (optional), to serve
  • Finely grated zest and juice of ½ orange
  • Finely chopped rind of ½ preserved lemon
  • 50 gm roasted pine nuts
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted and thinly sliced
  • Coarsely chopped mint leaves, to serve
  • Thick Greek-style yoghurt (optional), to serve
Roasted okra
  • 175 gm okra, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • 1
    For roasted okra, preheat oven to 180°C. Toss okra in a roasting pan with garlic, oil and a large pinch of salt, and roast until golden (20 minutes).
  • 2
    Meanwhile, place couscous in a heatproof bowl, add oil, citrus zests and juices, and preserved lemon rind. Season to taste and mix to combine with your fingertips. Pour 350ml boiling water over couscous and stir with a fork. Cover with plastic wrap and stand until water is absorbed (10 minutes). Fluff with a fork, then leave uncovered to dry (10 minutes).
  • 3
    Stir pine nuts, date and mint through couscous, season to taste, top with okra and serve with yoghurt and lemon wedges.