Try our giant couscous salad with hot smoked fish, then check out chicken, giant couscous and harissa broth, lamb steaks with giant couscous, giant couscous with spicy fish broth and more cous cous recipes.

Rosie Birkett says: "Navigating the kitchen between Christmas and the new year involves not only culinary creativity, but also the art of self-care. As the dust settles from the holiday whirlwind, it’s crucial to recognise the inevitable fatigue that accompanies being the cook in your house. Make sure you take a moment to breathe and direct everyone to the kitchen to load up on turkey sandwiches (preferably bringing you one) while you put your feet up with a nice big glass of something delicious.

"I insist on at least three days without cooking after the main event, but then usually get that itch to cook and host again for friends and family in this ‘betwixtmas’ period. If you’re this way inclined too, remember the essence of these days is in togetherness, not in the perfection of every dish.

"I tend to think having people round after Christmas is less about elaborate feasting and more about enjoying some fresh, nourishing dishes that perk up our jaded palates and give us a much-needed break from the decadence of holiday treats. I find myself turning to crisp winter salads bursting with citrus, gentle warmth and vibrant flavours, particularly simple, wholesome meals that require minimal effort.

"This smoked fish salad is exactly that – it’s a total snip to pull together and can be prepped ahead. Giant couscous cooks quickly and brings the bulk and sustenance our stomachs have become accustomed to, while providing a vehicle for punchy flavours including sushi ginger, horseradish and the smoked fish. Crispy kale tops things off with texture and a much needed kick of vitamins. It’s both hearty and healthful."

Giant couscous salad with hot smoked fish recipe


  • 350g giant couscous or fregula
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 150g kale leaves, torn into pieces, stems removed
  • small bunch of dill, chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced, plus extra to serve
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • ¼ cucumber, finely diced
  • 40g sushi ginger, finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp of the pickling liquid
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 350g hot smoked salmon or trout fillets



  • STEP 1

    Cook the giant couscous in a large pot of boiling salted water following pack instructions, usually for 5-6 mins, or until it’s al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water immediately to stop it cooking further. Transfer to a large bowl and drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Leave to cool.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Toss the torn kale leaves with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the kale out on a large baking sheet in an even layer and roast for 12-15 mins, or until crisp, tossing halfway through to make sure it’s evenly crisping. Remove from the oven.

  • STEP 3

    Combine the crème fraîche, horseradish (adjust the amount to taste), lemon juice, and some seasoning in a small bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

  • STEP 4

    Add most of the chopped dill and sliced radishes, and all of the spring onions, cucumber, ginger and its liquid, and the pumpkin seeds to the cooled couscous, and stir to combine. Pour the horseradish crème fraîche over the couscous, and gently mix until the couscous is coated. Flake in the smoked fish, removing any skin and bones.

  • STEP 5

    Tip onto a platter and spread into an even layer, then arrange the crispy kale on top. Scatter over the remaining dill and sliced radishes for a burst of colour and crunch before serving.

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