Summer Sides: Black Tea Tarragon Couscous Salad Recipe

In honor of the trial I'll be lawyering it up for through May and June, I'd like to sing a little jingle from OSSS (Old School Sesame Street) with the lyrics updated for my grown up life. (Sing to the tune of "Cooperation")
Makes it happen. 
Shirking together!

That's right.  Every weekend I take a stack of papers home to read, review, mark-up and every weekend I cook, eat, drink, and make merry instead. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that I'm still a baby lawyer and I'm essentially making my Trial Attorney Debut (does that make me a debutante?) in front of the lawyers I will be working for, with, and against for the rest of my career. No pressure or anything.

Anyway, I cook tons of food and develop new recipes in order to perfect my procrastinating skills (a woman has to have goals!), so consider this recipe the fruits of my labors at avoiding real work.  The black tea flavor is subtle, but it adds a dark, tannic undertone to an otherwise bright dish, and the tarragon adds a little sweet lingering aftershock to the crisp lemon and cucumber flavors.  This salad would be good as a snack with some hummus and pita, or even as a side for a rich lamb dish.

Black Tea Tarragon Couscous Salad

2 cups pre-steamed dry couscous (if the instructions say to mix w/boiling liquid, it's pre-steamed)
2 1/2 cups hot, strong black tea-divided
Juice of 2 medium lemons
Zest of 1 medium lemon
2 cucumbers, seeded and thinly sliced
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tbs. smoked paprika
2 tsp. cumin
4 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon
2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt to taste

Stir together 1/2 cup of black tea with the lemon juice and zest, olive oil, paprika, cumin, tarragon, and parsley.  Let it sit and let the flavors combine while you prepare the couscous.

Place the dried couscous in a larger bowl and stir in the minced garlic. Bring 2 cups of the black tea to a boil.  Pour the tea over the couscous/garlic, stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap and let steam.  After 15 minutes, fluff couscous with a fork. Stir in the cucumbers and the herb/tea/lemon mixture.  Season with salt (it may need a good bit of seasoning, since the flavors are all very light and crisp) and serve cold or room


  1. Goodness gracious bananas. Couscous sounds grand, Ms. R. Good luck with your trial debut.

  2. Yay, delicious vegetarian goodness! I love couscous! I love EEEERIKKKA!