December 27, 2010

Cranberry-almond couscous salad

I made this salad twice this holiday season. Once for a potluck lunch at work and once for a family gathering. It was a hit at both. The colors and ingredients are festive for the holidays, but the salad is really light and full of fresh ingredients and tastes. It was a nice side dish to serve with all of the other holiday foods, which tend to be heavier and richer. Another great thing about this salad is that it is a snap to make. You can even make the couscous the night before and then stir in the remaining ingredients the next day. 

Cranberry-almond couscous salad
2 cups dried couscous (I used tricolor)
2 cups water
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
zest and juice and half a lemon
zest and juice of half an orange
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

Boil the water. While the water is boiling, add the curry powder, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. When the water is boiling, pour it into the bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add the cranberries and couscous and cover with a lid or plastic wrap for about 10 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Gently stir in the lemon juice and zest, orange juice and zest, and olive oil. Refrigerate the couscous for at least a couple of hours, or overnight.

Gently toss the scallions and parsley into the salad. Taste for salt and add a little more olive oil, if needed. Add the almonds right before serving so that they don't get soggy. 

What was I cooking one year ago?: roasted red pepper dip

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