This tasty easy lamb salad is a perfect weeknight meal. Made with roasted vegetables, spicy couscous and tender harissa-marinated lamb, it can be prepared fully or partly in advance and is equally tasty the next day.
First lets talk about marinades. A marinade can be complex with lots of herbs and spices or it can be as simple as opening a jar. This lemon and harissa marinade is about as simple as it gets. Don't even think of making this lamb salad if you haven't marinated your lamb.
It may be tempting to take a short cut but I promise you the marinade really ups the flavour in the lamb and this one is so easy it won't take more than a minute or two the day before. Or you could make it in the morning before going out to work.
Just a little bit of forward planning is all this salad needs. Of course, you could roast the vegetables in advance too and even make the couscous the day before, although I have to admit I do prefer the vegetables to be freshly roasted.
Ingredients for harissa marinated lamb salad
To make this tasty main meal salad you'll need:
- Harissa - This is for the marinade. I use a jar of rose harissa. You can also get harissa as a spice blend and although I haven't tried it I'm sure it would be a great subsitute
- Lemon - This is also for the harissa lamb marinade. It is good to serve extra lemon wedges on the side though so it's worth getting extra lemons for this recipe
- Lamb steaks - Make sure you buy a cut of lamb that is not fatty and good for frying quickly.
- Vegetables - I use aubergine, courgettes and sweet potatoes as they are great for roasting and delicious with the harissa and lamb. You could also add onions and peppers.
- Oil - You can use whatever cooking oil you prefer for roasting the vegetables. I often use a light olive oil for this recipe.
- Uncooked couscous
- Ras el hanout - This is for flavouring the couscous
- Stock - I use chicken stock. Use ready made stock or a crumbled up stock cube.
- Natural yoghurt - This is for serving on the side with the fresh mint. It also doubles as a dressing.
- Mint - I use fresh mint in the yogurt and sometimes I sprinkle a little chopped mint on top of the salad as well.
Adaptations and substitutions for this harissa lamb salad
You could say I've taken a few short cuts with this salad. I could have made up a marinade myself rather than using a jar of harissa and lemon juice. But, harissa and lemon juice makes an incredible marinade for lamb so why not? I use Belazu Rose Harissa and they do a whole range of great spice pastes that would work in this instead of the harissa.
If you don't have fresh lemons then red or white wine vinegar also work well in the harissa marinade, just like in this harissa chicken salad.
If you don't have ras el hanout for the couscous then you could substitute it with another Middle Eastern or North African spice blend or just stir in a spoonful of harissa along with the hot stock. Personally, I find ras el hanout such a great spice mix and use it a lot so it's definitely worth making room for in the cupboard. For midweek meals you have to make life easy for yourself!
You can even stir some chopped fresh mint through the couscous or sprinkle some more over the top.
As you can see, I used lots of yogurt (I love it but you could use less!) and although it isn't mixed into the salad, it is the equivalent of a dressing. If you are not so keen on yogurt then just make a simple lemon and olive oil dressing to drizzle on the dish instead.
I use fresh mint in the yoghurt, but coriander is also lovely. If you want to make the yogurt more substantial then add some diced cucumber.
You don't have to stick with aubergines, courgette and sweet potato for this salad but they do work particularly well in a roasted vegetable salad. I also love to add red onion and peppers.
The cooking method
I make this salad throughout the year as it's quite filling. Normally I prepare it inside by roasting the vegetables in the oven and cooking the lamb in a frying pan. However, in summer it is great to cook the the lamb on the barbecue. You can then cook the vegetables on skewers as well.
What can you do with the leftovers?
Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge in covered containers for up to three days. I usually keep all the components in separate containers. You can eat everything cold although I often reheat the vegetables in the microwave.
The yogurt might separate a little but just give it a stir before serving and it'll be fine.
More delicious lamb recipes
Harrissa Marinated Lamb Salad
- 1 tbsp harissa
- 2 lemons one juiced, one optional for serving
- 4 lamb steaks
- 1 aubergine (eggplant) diced
- 2 courgettes (zucchini) diced
- 2 sweet potatoes quartered
- 2 tbsp oil
- 300 g uncooked couscous
- 1 tbsp ras el hanout
- 400 ml stock I used chicken stock
- 400 ml natural yogurt
- 5 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- Rub the harissa and lemon juice into the lamb steaks and put them in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.
- Put the vegetables on a baking tray and drizzle with the oil
- Roast in the oven at 180C for 25-30 minutes.
- Put the couscous in a bowl and stir in the ras el hanout. Pour in the hot stock and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork.
- Mix the fresh mint into the yogurt.
- Brush a griddle pan lightly with oil or put a little oil in a frying pan. Cook the lamb steaks for about 3 minutes on each side. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly.
- Assemble the salad by putting a couple of spoonfuls of couscous on each plate, followed by some vegetables and lamb. Put a few dollops of yogurt on each plate.
- Top with a few chopped herbs and a squeeze of lemon.