A quick couscous salad featuring a delicate balance of sweet, crunchy and tangy winter flavors. Be sure to have your ingredients prepped before you set the pot on the stove to start boiling, because once that happens, this salad comes together very quickly.
Author: Cookie and Kate
Recipe type: Salad
1 cup whole-wheat couscous
½ cup water
1 cup orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 teaspoons ume plum vinegar
10 dried apricots, thinly sliced (about ⅓ cup)
2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
¼ medium-sized red onion, finely sliced or diced (about ½ cup)
1 medium carrot
¼ cup pine nuts
Pour couscous into a medium-sized bowl and set aside. In a small pot, combine water, orange juice, olive oil, 4 teaspoons vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the dried fruit and ginger. Let simmer for about 1 minute.
After a quick stir, pour the liquid mixture over the dry couscous. Stir just to eliminate any pockets of dry couscous. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot into ribbons over the couscous, then cover the concoction with a plate or tea towel to trap the heat.
The couscous will cook by itself in about 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, rinse the sliced onion under running water and then toss it with 1 teaspoon vinegar in a small bowl to mellow the flavor. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until lightly golden and fragrant, tossing frequently to prevent burning.
When the couscous is cooked, fluff it with a fork, then mix in the onion and pine nuts. Serve warm or chilled.
[i]Recipe adapted from Enid's orange couscous. Make it nut free: Simply omit the pine nuts.