Monday, July 8, 2013

Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Cranberries

Folks, it is hot in New York City. With the exception of boiling 2 cups of water, this recipe will generate zero heat in your kitchen, and is full of goodies from legumes to dried fruit and from spices to fresh herbs.

For the salad:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups uncooked couscous
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) rinsed and drained can chickpeas
For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, thawed (such as Cascadian Farm)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
1. To prepare the salad, combine the couscous, cranberries, peas, and curry powder.  Pour the boiling water over the couscous mixture, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.

2. Fluff with a fork and let cool (about half an hour), then stir in the green onion, basil, and chickpeas.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: combine all the ingredients listed under 'Dressing' in a jar. Cover and shake to combine.

4. Pour the dressing over the couscous mixture, and toss well.  Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Nutrition Info:
8 servings (1 cup), Calories 257

Tasting Notes:
When life gives you lemons... make this dressing. Absolutely beautiful lemon flavor - any more and it would be too much, but combined with the other bright citrus elements (the orange rind and concentrate), this salad is tart and fruity and zesty in every bite. The lemon juice is perfect against the sweet dried cranberries and plump little peas. The only element that didn't fit was the basil, so I'd simply omit it next time.  I would also use just a touch more curry powder so the salad really lives up to its name.


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