[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

This is the perfect easy, interesting dinner. And, might I add from yesterday's experience, also a terrific cold packed lunch.

The concept is simple: no-fuss baked salmon crusted in hot blackening spice perched on a pile of cool coconut couscous splintered with fresh herbs. It's New Orleans meets Miami in 15 minutes. The salmon is spicy, salty, savory, and meaty. The couscous is fluffy and fresh, packed full of mint, parsley, green onions, and pumpkin seeds.

Couscous should always be on-hand for ten-minute wonder dinners like this one. It's the easiest starch to cook: just pour boiling water over it and let it stand off the heat until it's ready. But here's the trick to this special version: cook the couscous in a can of coconut milk instead of water. The couscous sucks up all the coconutty goodness, and the natural oils in the coconut keeps the grains of couscous separate. With just one simple swap, you've imparted so much flavor and moisture to a side that can tend to be a little dry and neglected.

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

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