Make-Ahead Harissa Couscous With Pear, Kale, and Lemon

Make-Ahead Harissa Couscous With Pear, Kale, and Lemon
  • Yield:Serves 2
  • Active time:20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes
This recipe appears in:
Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Harissa Couscous With Pear, Kale, and Lemon

[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

I chose couscous for this dish for both its quick cook time and its mild flavor; between the spicy harissa, tart lemon and sweet pear, I wanted a grain that would deliver bold flavors without providing them itself. That said, feel free to use whatever grains you have on hand—farro would work nicely here for more texture.

Note: Harissa can be found in most specialty grocers or ordered online. If you are planning on making this ahead, don't skip the step of cooling down food before refrigerating. If you go from pot to airtight container, your food will end up steaming and wilting, and your hard work will be ruined!

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a cook at Eataly's La Scuola. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at and on twitter @the_suzchef.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon harissa (see note above)
  • 1 Bosc pear, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup couscous
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale (tough stems removed)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large radishes, very thinly sliced


  1. 1.

    Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add harissa and cook, stirring constantly, until very fragrant about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add pears and cook, stirring, until coated and just beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in couscous to toast, 1 minute. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt, the lemon juice, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then quickly cover and remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add kale, season with salt, and cook, stirring, until wilted and starting to crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover couscous, fluff, and gently fold in kale, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and the lemon zest. Fold in radishes. Serve immediately, or let cool and then refrigerate until ready to eat.

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