A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cranberry and Pistachio Couscous Salad

The small Moroccan couscous often found in braised dishes is not what I have used here. Instead, I have opted for the larger (peppercorn size) couscous. This variety, made of semolina wheat often goes by the name Israeli or Middle Eastern couscous. Look for it under both names – it is often sold along side the bins of other grains at gourmet markets or ethnic stores. This dish is a perfect for a ladies lunch, picnic, or as part of a light dinner because it may me made in advance and served warm or at room temperature.

Cranberry and pistachio couscous salad

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups of Israeli/ Middle Eastern couscous
3 cups chicken stock
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup raw pistachios (look for these in your local gourmet store as well- they are greenish in color)
1 tablespoon very good olive oil
(Additional salt, such as sea salt, and pepper to season after cooking)

Into a medium size non-stick saucepan I place my olive oil. Turn the heat to medium /medium high. Once the oil is warm, add in the Couscous. Toast the couscous stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until golden. Add in the stock and the kosher salt. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook coved, for about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for another 20-30 minutes covered. Remove cover, stir to fluff the couscous and then add in the cranberries, pistachios, and very good olive oil. Re-season with additional salt and pepper if you like. Toss and serve. This salad goes wonderfully with a nice baby arrugula salad.

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