Seven minute recipe: tomato couscous salad with chia seeds

This photo shows about 80% of the bench space in my new kitchen
This photo shows about 80% of the bench space in my new kitchen

I’m mid-unpacking at my new house.  The good news is that all my furniture and boxes made it here and nothing appears to be broken.  The bad news is my new kitchen has hardly any bench space.  When I inspected the place before, the people who lived here before me had a sideboard bench or something to create more useful surface space and now all that’s left is lots of floor space and about 60cm of useful bench space.  I will have to buy a table or something to go in this space, but for now I am going to be cooking recipes which require minimal bench space.

Today I am sharing a super quick tomato salad I pulled together while I was unpacking.  I added chia seeds for extra protein and because I like the crunch with couscous.

The critical thing when using tomatoes like this is to make sure to drain the tomato liquid out.  Chefs and cooks with lots of time deseed tomatoes when making bruschetta and salads like this.  I don’t have the time or the patience for that, but I want to share a technique to drain as much of the liquid out as possible. I place my diced tomatoes in a colander with some salt.  Then I leave the colander over the sink to drain for a few minutes before giving the tomatoes a good toss, trying to leave any seed-y liquid-y tomato bits behind in the colander.

Tomato couscous salad with chia seeds

  • Servings: 1 person
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  • 2 large vine ripened tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons couscous
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • mixed salad greens
  • a handful of basil
  • sea-salt
  • a pinch of powered vegetable stock


  1. Boil water (remember the kettle will boil quicker if you fill the kettle to the minimum possible level, for my kettle this is about 1.5 to 2 cups, which is plenty of water for this recipe)
  2. Add the vegetable stock powder, the couscous and the chia seeds to a bowl and cover with water, covering the dry ingredients with 1cm of water, then cover the bowl with a plate to trap the steam from the water
  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes
  4. Place the tomatoes and half a teaspoon of salt in a colander and stir well, sit over the sink to drain
  5. Chop the basil and add to the tomatoes
  6. Check that all of the water has been absorbed by the couscous mixture, stir in a drizzle of olive oil.
  7. Serve with the mixed salad greens and a drizzle of red wine vinegar or salad dressing of your choice

Edit: an earlier version of this post included the unmodified quantities for making a family size serving of couscous, I’ve now corrected the quantities for a single serve salad.


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