When I am on the run I’ll often stop into a local deli and pick up one of their fresh salads and one of my favorites—couscous. I have a minor fixation with Israeli couscous, the larger pearled type of couscous. It just feels lighter than pasta and yet more substantial than traditional couscous, plus it makes a perfect base for many one dish meals. I think my fondness for this pearled variety is why I am so keen on fregola a Sardinian pasta that I posted a few weeks back. To me they are very similar in appearance and flavor and both so simple to incorporate into a multitude of dishes.
I made this dish last night and served it with some cranberry orange glazed tilapia. It seems I make couscous as often as I make risotto these days, as side dishes or on its own. It’s light, filling and so adaptable—you can add tons of colorful veggies or just keep it simple. This recipe comes together very easily and it’s just great served either warm or cold.
Cranberry Almond Couscous
1 1/2 cups pearled couscous
2 TBLS. olive oil
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water
½ cup dried cranberries, diced
1/2 cup slivered almonds
¼ cup grated carrots
½ tsp tumeric
2 TBLS fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
pinch of curry powder
2 tsp wildflower honey
juice of one orange
zest of one orange
2 tsp canola oil
white pepper, & pinch of sea salt to taste
drizzle of sesame seed oil *optional
Heat olive oil and add couscous, cooking on medium heat until slightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add vegetable broth or water, orange zest,grated carrots and bring light boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed. Transfer the couscous to another large skillet or baking sheet to cool. As it’s cooling whisk together canola oil, orange juice, fresh parsley, honey, tumeric, curry powder, white pepper & salt. Pour this over cooled couscous pearls and toss to coat all. Add cranberries. Cover, and chill. Just before serving I toss in the almonds and a drizzle of sesame oil and toss once again. We enjoy this dish either served warm or as a cold salad, both equally great! Enjoy!