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  • Writer's pictureOllie Tarrant

Harissa cod with middle eastern cous-cous

Updated: Jan 1, 2021

It’s long been an ambition of mine to cook things based on what looks good in the shop. I was in Beanie’s (which is a brilliant shop in Sheffield if you ever get the chance to visit), and was inspired by all of the lovely vegetables and ingredients. The colourful carrots, medjool dates, exotic looking squash and courgettes all looked delicious, and I thought something middle eastern would fit the bill nicely. Putting it together, I thought a cod loin, marinated in harissa paste on top of a mixed cous-cous would be lovely, and using all of the locally sourced ingredients.

It was actually very simple to make - the cod loin is incredibly meaty, and goes really well with the herby and fruity cous-cous. The whole thing is complemented nicely by my really easy fresh carrot and courgette salad. It’s quite an easy meal to make, but its a real treat to have in the week.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 2 cod loins

  • 1 1/2 tbsp harissa paste

For the cous-cous

  • 250g cous-cous

  • 5 medjool dates (de-stoned)

  • Small bunch fresh parsley

  • Small bunch coriander

  • Small handful of mint leaves

  • 1/2 preserved lemon

  • 1 small squash

  • 1 red pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 ras el hanout

  • Small handful of pistachio nuts, shelled and roughly chopped

  • 1 small red onion

  • 1/2 lemon

  • Pomegranate seeds


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Season the cod well with salt and pepper. Rub the harissa paste into the cod with a touch of olive oil and leave to marinade for at least an hour.

  2. To make the cous-cous, place the dry cous-cous in a bowl, and cover with boiling water, 1 cm above the top of the cous-cous. Place a plate over the top of the bowl, and set aside for 5 mins. Once it is cooked, remove the plate, and stir through with a fork. Add a bit more water if it still feels dry/uncooked, and repeat the process until light and fluffy. Season to taste, and set aside.

  3. Peel and slice the squash in half, discarding any seeds. Chop the squash into a small cubes, and place on a baking tray. Season well with salt and pepper, drizzle with some olive oil and add the spices. Roast in the oven for 20 mins, until cooked through and slightly browned on the outside. Once cooked, drop the oven to 180C.

  4. Bring a pan up to medium heat, and add in some butter and olive oil. Finely slice the red onion, and add to the pan. Cook for 5 or so minutes, then add in the red pepper, and a splash of water if needs be. Add in the garlic for a minute or two of cooking, and set aside.

  5. To cook the cod, loosely wrap each loin in tin foil, place on a baking tray, and cook in the oven for 15 minutes, until the cod is cooked through.

  6. Finely chop the dates and the preserved lemon. Finely chop the herbs, including the stalks of the parsley and coriander. Mix all of these ingredients with the cous-cous in a large bowl. Add in the onion, peppers and squash once they are cooked, and give one final stir through.

  7. Heat up a griddle pan on a medium heat. Once the cod is cooked through, place on the griddle pan, and cook for a further minute on each side, taking care to maintain the loin’s shape.

  8. Place a large portion of cous-cous on the plate. Serve a portion of the carrot and courgette salad on top of the cous-cous, and place the cod loin on top of the salad. Drizzle over some of the juices from the fish inside the foil.

  9. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, pistachio nuts, big squeeze of lemon and some coriander.

I loved creating this recipe, and I really hope you enjoy making this recipe. Let me know if you would change anything, if you want to see more of these ‘from scratch’ recipes, and if you have any recipe requests, then message me on instagram, @OTCooks_Eats. If you could, as always, share the account with your family and friends, that would mean the world to me.




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