Spicy & Citrusy Couscous Salad
When I make this for picnics, I prepare it the night before, refrigerate it, and serve it cool the next day.
Serves six as a side dish.
Yields about 5 cups.
2 cups vegetable broth, low-salt chicken broth, or water
1-1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 pinch saffron threads (optional)
3/4 tsp. harissa or 2 to 3 dashes of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
Kosher salt and ground white pepper
1/4 cup plus 3 Tbs. extravirgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, cut into small dice
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into small dice
1 cup couscous
1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth or water, paprika, saffron (if using), harissa or hot sauce, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of white pepper to a boil over medium heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low to keep the broth at a simmer. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and red pepper and cook until the vegetables are soft but not browned, 8 to 10 min. Add the couscous and stir to coat the grains with oil. Remove the pan from heat. Add the simmering liquid to the couscous and stir to evenly distribute the liquid. Cover the pan and let it sit until all the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is tender, 5 to 7 min. Remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. Set aside to cool for 15 min.
Whisk the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil with the orange zest, orange juice, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss with the couscous. Let cool completely and then transfer to an airtight container or a bowl covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Put the scallions, almonds, dried currants, and parsley in a separate container and refrigerate.
Just before heading to the picnic, stir the scallions, almonds, currants, and parsley into the couscous. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on six servings;
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 73
, pp. 43
August 1, 2005