I don't know why, but I seem to be in a mood for grains lately. Seriously, what's up with the quinoa and cous cous recipes?
The first time I tried this cous cous, a friend of mine had made it for a picnic. It was my first time trying cous cous and this combination of ingredients was just delicious. I was super impressed that she had made this dish and I begged for the recipe.
Of course I never dreamed that it would be this simple. Are you kidding me? I could do this blindfolded. OK, I'm exaggerating. Maybe just with one eye closed. It may be the easiest side dish of all time. Because I would never dream of eating it as an entire meal. Never...
I've actually made this cous cous several times since first becoming acquainted with this recipe from Dave Lieberman. However, I hadn't made it in the past year or so. For some reason I suddenly began craving it on a random Tuesday. So as soon as I came home from my weekly travel excursion, I whipped up a bowl of this. And all was well with the world again.
Dried Cranberry & Walnut Cous Cous
adapted from Dave Lieberman's Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Sweet Cranberries
- 2 cups instant couscous
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- Freshly ground pepper
1) Toast the walnuts: Spread the chopped walnuts out on a flat pan and bake at 400 degrees F for ~5 minutes. Watch them because they can go from toasted to burnt in a few seconds.
2) Stir the couscous, cranberries, curry powder, salt, and sugar together in a heatproof bowl.
3) Pour boiling water over the couscous mixture.
4) Add the orange juice. You could also use grapefruit juice if you're running low on OJ.
5) Stir everything together, cover the bowl tightly for about 5 minutes. (I usually use some sort of clingwrap.) You can give it a stir once or twice in those 5 minutes.
6) Remove the cover and fluff the cous cous with a fork.
7) Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and walnuts.
8) Stir until everything is mixed thoroughly.
9) Add salt and pepper to taste.
I slightly adapted Dave's recipe primarily because 1) I don't like parsley and 2) I didn't have any scallions. I like green leafy herbs and veggies, but I just never get the chance to use them all up and I hate throwing away food. It makes me sad. That said, if you want to add parsley and scallions, then by all means please do so.
Now let's get to the heart of this matter. How does it taste? Well, the curry gives the cous cous a smoky flavor, which is balanced out by the sweetness of the dried cranberries. You can taste a hint of the tart lemon juice but you also get a salty crunch from the walnuts. So basically...it's pretty freaking good. And that about sums it up.