Rainbow Couscous with Pickled Red Onion

A quick and easy salad topped with crisp pickled red onion. You can use the onions to add a tangy, sweet crunch to burgers, sandwiches, salads, tacos, anything you like. They’re very easy to make, have a great flavour, crisp texture, and add a pretty pop of colour too

Pickled Red Onions

You’ll need;

  1. One large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  2. 150ml vinegar, I used a 50/50 mix of cider vinegar and white wine vinegar
  3. One teaspoon of salt
  4. One teaspoon of sugar
  5. 50ml water


  • Start by peeling the onion, and remove the top and the root. Thinly slice it from root to top, then put the slices into a jar. Try to get the slices as uniform in thickness as possible
  • Put the rest of the ingredients listed into a small saucepan over a medium high heat. Pop the lid onto the saucepan, and heat for a few minutes, or until you start to see bubbles form at the bottom of the pan
  • Once you see the bubbles form to a very gentle simmer, give the vinegar mixture a good stir to ensure the salt and sugar have fully dissolved. Then pour the mixture over the onionDSC_2359-picsay
  • After it’s had a minute or two to cool down, screw on the lid and gently give the jar a shake. This will ensure the vinegar fully coats every slice of onion. Once the mix has cooled to room temperature, pop the jar in the fridge for a couple of hours

After a couple of hours it should be ready. It might take a little longer if your slices were a little thicker


They should last for two or three weeks in the fridge. Feel free to adjust the salt and sugar as needed. I felt there was enough for me, but feel free to adjust to taste

For the Rainbow Couscous

You’ll need;

  1. 100g couscous (this is the dry, uncooked weight)
  2. 150ml hot water
  3. One stock cube
  4. One teaspoon of tomato puree
  5. One carrot, peeled and grated
  6. Half a cucumber, diced
  7. Two tomatoes, deseeded and diced
  8. One handful of roughly chopped salad leaves. I used a mix of rocket, baby red leaf, spinach and mizuna
  9. Five or so radishes, topped, tailed and thinly sliced
  10. Half a 200g tin of sweetcorn, drained
  11. One 400g tin of beans, drained and rinsed. I used black eye beans
  12. For the dressing; two tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of dried herbs


  • Start by dissolving the stock cube in the hot water, once it’s fully dissolved add the tomato puree. Add the couscous into a shallow dish and pour the stock mixture over it. Give it a quick mix, then cover and leave the couscous for ten minutes to absorb the liquid. After ten minutes, use a fork to fluff up the grains
  • Add everything else (apart from the salad dressing ingredients) into a large mixing bowl, then gently fold them together
  • Pop the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk them together. Drizzle the dressing over the rest of the ingredients in the mixing bowl, then add the couscous into the bowl. Finally fold everything together until well combined
  • Chill the salad in the fridge for 30 minutes, then it’s ready to serve with the pickled red onion


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